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Approach & philosophy

At the conference, we will survey the state of art of environmental seismology, share new analysis techniques, discuss the specific needs for seismological techniques in near-surface applications, and identify opportunities for obtaining benchmark data in which both seismological and traditional geomorphic observations can be or have been obtained with high data quality. To this end we plan to do the following:

  • survey the state of the field in a series of keynote lectures from leading environmental seismologists;
  • decisively foster overarching discussion between individual programme points by including scheduled discussion time after talks and allowing for plenty of contact time outside of scheduled activities;
  • work towards focused discussion in break-out groups.

These programme points are further explained below. The conference will be held in a remote location to ensure focus throughout the event and achieve optimal outcomes.

Theme A – Keynote speakers

Introductions to five major topics with relevance for the seismological investigation of environmental processes will be given in 90-minute keynote lectures. These five keynote lectures will be at the heart of the conference, wrapping up the state of the art, raising attention to loose ends, and placing seeds for the discussion among all participants. The five recognised leaders in their subject are asked to spend no more than half of the time for the lecture in order to provide sufficient time for a rich debate within the auditorium. In a pedagogical way the foundations and needs of modern process geomorphology will be expressed. These shall grade into introductions to assessing mass movements as well as ice and water dynamics from a seismic perspective. To provide a robust foundation of possibilities and limitations of seismological methods, two keynote lectures will discuss environmental seismic sources and wave propagation in near surface materials. The following speakers have already agreed to enrich the conference:

  1. Geomorphic processes
  2. Seismic sources
  3. Seismic wave propagation
  4. Water and ice
  5. Mass movements

Theme B – Break-out groups

One of the main goals of the conference is to promote scientific interactions between attendees such that fruitful ideas emerge and grow. To facilitate these discussions, we will organize break-out group discussion sessions. Attendees will get together in small groups (8 to 10 people) and share their thoughts on past achievements, ongoing research, and current scientific challenges in the field. To motivate these break-out group sessions, listed below are several suitable topics identified by the conference committee. This list is certainly not exhaustive, and attendees are strongly encouraged to suggest new topics during the abstract submission process.

Suggested break-out discussion topics

  1. pushing forward theoretical frameworks to provide quantitative insights to environmental seismic sources and their generated wave characteristics;
  2. identifying the unique monitoring capabilities of seismic measurements, as well as their limitations and uncertainties compared to conventional methods;
  3. developing dedicated seismic devices and experimental designs tailored to the needs of environmental seismology;
  4. identifying important geomorphic research questions that are difficult to tackle with traditional methods but become tractable using seismic methods;
  5. evaluating seismic data against independent observations: towards a benchmark library;
  6. conducting real-time seismic monitoring of environmental processes: towards event anticipation, warning, and risk assessment for natural hazard applications.

Theme C – Posters and talks

Talks: Based on their applications, a total of 12 conference participants will be asked to prepare oral presentations. The time slot of each presentation is 20 minutes, which should include at least 5 minutes of discussion. In selecting participants for oral presentations, preference will be given to young scientists. Topics shall cover both geomorphic and seismic studies (or at best combinations of these).

Posters: All conference participants will have the chance to present a poster on their current research. Posters will be displayed in the coffee room throughout the entire week. In the poster room, coffee and snacks are served during morning and the afternoon breaks, which fosters poster discussions in spare time. Thus, the posters are decisively placed prominently to set seeds for informal discussions. We do not see posters as the second-best option to talks but rather as the main conveyors of arguments to share ideas and link the two scientific fields. Each author will have 2 minutes to present his/her poster during a lightning talk session using 1–2 slides. Poster boards are in portrait format, and authors can make use of the full dimensions of 118.5 cm width × 146 cm height (e.g. portrait A0 posters as an often-used format fit perfectly). Material necessary for attaching the poster to the poster board is available at the conference venue.