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AGU blogging #1: Tuesday wrap-up

December 11, 2007

If you’re expecting a detailed report of exciting new geoscience research reported at AGU today, you should go somewhere else. I didn’t arrive at the meeting until lunchtime and then spent most of the afternoon browsing posters rather lazily. Luckily, I’m just a guy with a blog and not a member of the press.

I did go to a few talks in the Geomorphology of Mars session, which was pretty cool. One thing I realized watching these talks is how fundamental the geology they are doing is. I saw a talk about using HiRISE images to do some basic structural geology. They were able to generate a DEM and then make traverses and measure bedding attitudes on very well-exposed sedimentary rocks. Pretty cool. The interpretations of the geologic history are very speculative without any ground-truthing, but it’s a start.  Another talk in this session discussed what they termed “rhythmic” bedding and then speculated about highly ordered cyclical forcings (e.g., Milankovitch cycles). This is a pet peeve of mine … cyclical bedding can be generated from non-cyclical forcings … there is no need to jump to conclusions about a highly ordered forcing. Especially, on Mars where we won’t be able to ground-truth for some time. But, to the presenter’s credit, he did say this interpretation was only a possibility and is impossible to confirm with the data available at this point.

I saw some nice posters this afternoon, but have to admit that I was relatively relaxed today and did not dive head first into any of the studies. I did, however, check out a poster about a thermochronology study that was pretty cool…that’s a hot field, I hear.

I’m rampin’ up. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to be checking out most of the talks in the session my talk is in. And, in the afternoon, there are tons of posters for that same session. So, hopefully, I’ll have a bunch of notes and thoughts to share tomorrow night.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2007 6:39 am

    Your pet peeve is one of mine too… whenever people start interpreting Milankovitch cycles in systems where there’s obviously a fair amount of internal variability, my teeth start grinding.

  2. Bangin' Sedimentologist permalink
    December 12, 2007 3:17 pm

    Contributing to your argument ChrisR, who knows what autocyclic controls were operating on Mars during deposition! Furthermore, Milankovich cycles are based solely upon the planet Earth! Anyway, I am surprised they didn’t talk about solar forcing and relate that to “rhythmic” bedding.

  3. December 12, 2007 11:20 pm

    to be fair…the presenter did not cite Milankovitch specifically…i only put that as an example of something that would be considered orbital or astronomical…something external to the Mars system similar to a Milankovitch….I don’t want to put words in the presenters mouth

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