Goldschmidt 2018 Session 12a: Using Big Data to Understand the Critical Zone

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Start Date: 
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 09:45 to Friday, March 30, 2018 - 09:45

We would like to very much encourage you to submit an abstract to our session at the upcoming Goldschmidt 2018 conference August 12-17, 2018 in Boston: Session 12a: Using Big Data to Understand the Critical Zone. Below are details about this conference and our session. Abstracts are due Mar. 30, 2018. We hope you will submit abstracts treating all aspects of the next wave in environmental research: sharing data, using big data, remote sensing in environmental geochemistry, machine learning, cross-disciplinary data in environmental science, and critical zone science. We are also happy to alert you about our keynote speaker, Kenneth H. Williams, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who will be talking about exciting new aspects of remotely sensed data in their Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area.

Thank you very much in advance for submitting your work to this session. Hope to see you in Boston in August!


Susan Brantley
Distinguished Professor of Geosciences
Director, Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
Pennsylvania State University

Tao Wen
Postdoctoral Scholar
Earth and Environmental Systems Institute
Penn State University

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1) Session Information
Goldschmidt 2018 at Boston from August 12th-17th, 2018
Session 12a: Using Big Data to Understand the Critical Zone.
2) Conveners and Session Introduction
Tao Wen, Pennsylvania State University, United States.
Susan Brantley, Pennsylvania State University, United States.

Big data and data mining have been applied in many scientific fields as datasets get larger and computational tools improve. In critical zone science, the assemblage of large quantities of geochemical, geophysical, and biological data for air, soil, water, biota, and rock are demanding innovative methods in data interpretation. For example, critical zone scientists are now using geophysical measurements to interpret or infer geochemistry, employing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV or drones) to measure data, and sharing data so as to develop large datasets for water or soil chemistry. While geochemists have traditionally emphasized the development of novel geochemical analyses on small numbers of samples, new conclusions will emerge from big, shared data sets using modern data mining. For example, spatial data mining techniques have been applied recently on groundwater data to identify potentially problematic natural gas wells. Remote sensing data have also been used to interpret bedrock geology with the aid of data mining. This session will highlight the collection and interpretation of big data sets in the critical zone, including but not limited to: 1) hydrogeochemistry, e.g., studying the distribution, migration, transport, and cycle of geochemical substances in the critical zone and evaluating the impact from natural and anthropogenic factors; 2) atmospheric science and remote sensing, e.g., identifying sources and formation mechanisms of atmospheric aerosols; 3) environmental science, e.g., tracing methane emissions from oil and gas development; and 4) cross-disciplinary studies, e.g., using geophysical data sets to shed light on geochemical characterization of critical zone systems. We welcome presentations about collection efforts for big data, interpretation of big data, data mining techniques, and case studies.

3) Keynote Speaker
Kenneth H. Williams (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). He currently serves as the Deputy Lead and Chief Field Scientist of Berkeley Lab’s Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area based near Crested Butte, Colorado (USA), which addresses questions pertaining to the ability of mountains watersheds to retain and release water, nutrients, carbon, and metals in the face of climate perturbation and climate extremes.  In this capacity, Dr. Williams is tasked with overseeing and integrating the field research activities of a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional team of researchers (National Laboratory, University, Industry) that span the continuum of spatial scales from pore to catchment.

4) Submit Abstract
Submit abstract to our session (our session number is 12a):

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