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AGU 2009 blogging #3 — allogenic and autogenic forcings

December 18, 2009

Today was the last day of the AGU meeting. Unlike some other meetings, the final day at AGU isn’t nearly as depressing. I’m not sure why — maybe because it’s a Friday and attendees are staying to hang out in the Bay Area for the weekend. It’s certainly not as happenin’ as the other days but it seems that the final day for conferences that end in the middle of the week are even worse.

Anyway, I spent the morning catching up with some friends and then we all headed to the “Interpreting Allogenic and Autogenic Processes in the Stratigraphic Record” session. What the heck does ‘allogenic’ and ‘autogenic’ mean? Maybe I’ll write a whole post about that someday, but the short answer is that allogenic forcings are those that are external to the system whereas autogenic refers to processes/dynamics that arise intrinsically. Examples of allogenic forcings on sedimentary systems include climatic fluctuations, tectonism, and sea level. Autogenic processes included the formation of channel-levee systems and the avulsion of delta or fan channels/lobes.

However, it’s not so simple … which was the point of the session. It was a great session, a nice mix of outcrop data, modern systems, and experimental systems. I gave a talk on some work I did during my Ph.D. on how various factors interacted and influenced deposition in a deep marine basin offshore southern California during the last 7,000 years. I felt I was going a bit fast — maybe was trying to squeeze too much info in — but I got some good feedback afterwards, so I think it was a success.

After that, I had a nice lunch with some friends and then we headed to the companion poster session that afternoon. The posters were very well attended and I had a bunch of follow-up discussions about my talk in addition to discussions about the posters.

Although I only went to two days of AGU this year and didn’t have time to branch out of my field of expertise, it was a great meeting as always!

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