Chris: So how was your first day at AGU? You had a poster to present this morning, I think.
Anne: It wasn’t really my first day, you know. Yesterday I was at the Berkeley Catchment Science Symposium which was filled with really great talks on topics ranging from floods to metal isotopes, and lots of great discussions. It was a great way to get my head into the intense science week of AGU.
Chris: Alright, I’m a slacker.
Anne: But, yes, the poster. I was standing in for my graduate student Alea Tuttle and colleague Sara McMillan, who were unable to make it to the meeting. The poster presents some cool data on how stream restoration affects nitrogen dynamics at the stream-reach and individual structure scale. Alea did a great job putting the poster together so that it was very clear what she’d done and found, but I did get a few questions I wasn’t fully able to answer, so I’ll be going back to Charlotte with a few queries for Alea. I’m sure they are all things she’s thought of, and I’ll get a chance to learn some more nitrogen stuff as she explains things to me.
Chris: Excellent. What did you get up to when you weren’t manning your poster?
Anne: I saw a few talks – also on nitrogen, as it relates to hydrologic dynamics. And I caught up with old friends and made some new ones. After going to AGU for about 6 years, it’s amazing how much of a community it becomes.
How about you? You weren’t still working on a presentation, were you?
Chris: I got my poster done before getting on the plane, thank you very much. I’m presenting it tomorrow afternoon.
Anne: So, plenty of time to learn about interesting new science, then.
Chris: Yep. I ended up spending a lot of time today listening to talks discussing the interactions between convection in the mantle, plate tectonics, and topography – an area that my current research semi-overlaps with. I found it quite interesting how, depending on the research objectives, some people were using plate motions to drive mantle convection models, whereas other people were using the history of subduction encoded in the mantle’s temperature structure to refine plate motions. Several talks also emphasised how important mantle flow in response to subduction is in determining things like slab dip and deformation on the overiding plate.
In between talks, I visited the poster hall to look at the paleomagnetism contributions – experimental dynamos, Pangea reconstructions, the timing of the India-Asian collision, oh my! There were also a few interesting ones on dynamic stress triggering following large earthquakes – including a study that proposed that surface waves from a large main shock could circle the globe and trigger its own aftershocks. This falls into the ‘too cool not to be true’ category, although statistically it’s not quite a slam dunk yet,
Anne: Wow, that is cool. But are you sure we’re attending the same conference?
Chris: Well, we both turned up at the same Social Media Soiree.
Anne: Purely coincidence, I’m sure…
Chris: Maybe the next few days will expose some topics of converging interest for the Highly Allochthonous bloggers.
[NB: This is a repost. A server failure at our hosts meant the original was lost.]