Meet us at the EGU 2019

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Point pattern and kernel density estimate on the stream network of Big Tujunga.

Dirk and I will attend the EGU this year. And as luck would have it, our presentations on point processes on river networks (PICO4.7 | EGU2019-18489) and on identification and ordering of divides (PICO4.6 | EGU2019-14979) are in the same PICO session (Tue, 09 Apr, 10:55–10:59, PICO spot 4). Interactive presentation time is afterwards from 11:15-12:30.

Stream (a) and divide (b) network of the Big Tujunga catchment.

If you want to chat and discuss with us, please come to our interactive presentations. We will highlight some of the upcoming additions to TopoToolbox, and we are curious what you think of them.


Earth surface processes in the age of consequences

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Rafael Schmitt and I have proposed a session for the EGU 2019 focussing on human-environment interactions. We aim to evaluate the current knowledge on how humans engineer landscape processes and on feedbacks between earth surface processes, their anthropic alterations and the resulting socio-economic repercussions.

For further information, please see the complete session description here. We invite presentations that shed light on the role of earth surface processes during past, present, and future human-environment interactions. Moreover, we solicit studies on innovative techniques of data collection and modelling to identify new approaches to value and manage sediment.

Hope to see you at the EGU! Note that the deadline for the receipt of abstracts is on Jan 10, 2019.

Crowd-solving problems in earth science research

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Diving under the scientific iceberg

This year’s EGU featured a new and interesting event format: SC1.29/GM12.1 Crowd-solving problems in earth science research organized by the early-career geomorphologists Anne Voigtländer, Anna Schoch, Elisa Giaccone, Harry Sanders, Richard Mason and Johannes Buckel. I was among the lucky participants.

In their blog post, the organizers summarize the event and highlight its role in stimulating active participation and communication. When I was a young PhD, active participation and communication was something I missed at these large conferences. Rather, I found myself consuming talks rather than being an active part of the discussion. After a few years I now feel more at ease, I actively contribute, and the EGU assembly has become a place to meet colleages and friends.

I think that an event format like the crowd-sourcing session could stimulate this process in particular for young researchers. This doesn’t mean, however, that — if the session was happening next year — only young researchers should attend. Rather, this event would benefit a lot from the exchange of the young and experienced scientists. I’ll definitely take part next year, and I hope you’ll do so, too.

Central European Conference on Geomorphology and Quaternary Sciences 2018

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Before this year ends, here is an announcement for an event next year: The Central European Conference on Geomorphology and Quaternary Sciences will take place in Giessen in September 2018. The event is jointly organized by the German Working Group on Geomorphology (AK Geomorphologie) and the German Quaternary Association (DEUQUA – Deutsche Quartärvereinigung). Here are the key dates:

January 8th
Start of Registration
June 15th
End of Early Registration
July 6th
Deadline of Abstract Submission
September 14th
End of Late Registration Period
September 23 – 27

You’ll find more information >>here<<.

EGU 2018: Interactions between tectonics and surface processes from mountain belts to basins

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Abstract submission for the EGU 2018 has just started and is open until 10 Jan 2018, 13:00 CET. The session Interactions between tectonics and surface processes from mountain belts to basins, organized by Dirk Scherler, Alex Whitaker, Taylor Schildgen and me, will address the coupling between tectonics and surface processes. We invite contributions that use geomorphic or sedimentary records to understand tectonic deformation, and we welcome studies that address the interactions and couplings between tectonics and surface processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales. In particular, we encourage coupled catchment-basin studies that take advantage of numerical/physical modeling, geochemical tools for quantifying rates of surface processes (cosmogenic nuclides, low-temperature thermochronology, luminescence dating) and high resolution digital topographic and subsurface data. We also encourage field or subsurface structural and geomorphic studies of landscape evolution, sedimentary patterns and provenance in deformed settings, and invite contributions that address the role of surface processes in modulating rates of deformation and tectonic style.

Please see further information >>here<<.

We look forward to your contributions. See you at the EGU soon!
Wolfgang, Dirk, Taylor and Alex

Geomorphometry Short Course at the EGU 2017, Vienna

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Only few days left until the EGU begins, the largest European annual geoscience meeting in Vienna. In case you attend you should consider to participate the short course in geomorphometry: Getting the most out of DEMs of Difference. The course is organized by Tobias Heckmann, Paolo Tarolli and me and will be on Wednesday, 26 April, 13:30-15:00 in Room N1.

Please see here for further details on the course’s aims and scope.

Digital Terrain Analysis of Anthropogenic Landscapes

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Paolo Tarolli, Tobias Heckmann and I have organized a workshop at the EGU. If you attend the EGU, consider participating this course on Wednesday, 20 Apr. 13:30-15:00 in Room L4/5.

Humans are among the most prominent geomorphic agents, redistributing land surface, and causing drastic changes to the geomorphic organization of the landscape (e.g. intensive agriculture, urbanization, mining, roads construction), with direct consequences on land degradation and watershed response.

Tarolli & Sofia 2016 (Geomorphology)

High-resolution topography (HRT) can be useful for engineered landscapes, where the anthropic forcing related to human activities may affect natural processes (Tarolli, 2014). HRT could play a strategic and helpful role, through the recognition of human-induced geomorphic and anthropogenic features, and the connected erosion.

In this workshop, we will explore various techniques to extract and analyze anthropogenic features from high-resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), and to account for the problems associated with such features in anthropogenic landscapes. Basic knowledge in Matlab® and GIS, and the availability of a laptop are an advantage but they are not a requirement to attend the workshop. Attendants at the beginning of the workshop will receive teaching materials and guidelines for the proposed methodologies.

Specifically, we will aim at:

  1. Extracting channel levees in floodplains, and terraces walls on hillslopes applying the semi-automatic techniques.
  2. Identifying terraces/road induced erosion/landslides.
  3. Automatic detection of bank erosion in agricultural drainage networks.

Upon course termination attendants will be awarded with a specific certificate of attendance signed by the EGU – GM division President and by the workshop Instructor.


Tarolli, P., Sofia, G. (2016). Human topographic signatures and derived geomorphic processes across landscapes. Geomorphology, 255, 140-161.

Tarolli, P. (2014). High-resolution topography for understanding Earth surface processes: opportunities and challenges. Geomorphology, 216, 295-312.