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Understanding the spatial variability of sedimentary deposits (lecture)

Thursday, 13 February 2020
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:
Lecture Theatre, Gregory Building
c/o School of Geographical & Earth Sciences
Glasgow, Glasgow City G12 8QQ United Kingdom

Dr Amanda Owen, University of Glasgow

Sedimentary systems are under the influence of a variety of processes that can vary considerably in time (seconds to millennia) and space (from the grain to basin scale). This talk will examine the spatial variability in fluvial response to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). The PETM occurred ~56 Ma and was a geologically abrupt global warming event in which temperatures increased from 5-8°C over ~200,000 years due to a global release in carbon, making it a close analogue to today’s global warming trends. The PETM has been interrogated at a number of terrestrial and marine localities across the globe; however, the majority of these studies are not placed within a well-defined spatial and temporal context, with study often limited to single successions and the deposits that lie immediately above and below the event. It is imperative that background “normal” conditions are understood in order for an assessment of response magnitude and extent to be made. Within this talk sedimentological observations from multiple PETM localities within the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, will be presented within a newly defined quantified basin context.

Background reading: Owen, A., Hartley, A.J., Ebinghaus, A., Weissmann, G.S. & Santos, M.G.M. (2019). Basin?scale predictive models of alluvial architecture: Constraints from the Palaeocene–Eocene, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, USA. Sedimentology, 66(2), 736-763. (doi:10.1111/sed.12515)

Amanda’s research focuses on understanding ancient fluvial deposits, more specifically trying to understand the heterogeneity and predictability of fluvial deposits over a variety of scales from the basin to pore scale. Her research is primarily field based, where she studies analogues (both ancient and modern) for application into the petroleum, minerals (uranium and cooper) and groundwater industries. Alongside applied research she also looks to understand the effect that external controls (such as climate and tectonics) have on fluvial systems as well as try and better understand vegetation response to changes in fluvial environments. Her work is conducted through collaborative links at the University of Aberdeen, University of New Mexico, University of St Andrews and Universidade Federal do ABC and through the industry-funded consortium Fluvial Systems Research Group.