Department of Geology
Department of Geology, University of Maryland

Seminar Series

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
PLS 1130

Sign up to visit with this week's speaker

Suggest a speaker for future seminars

September 5, 2014

Scott Burdick
NSF Postdoc at UMD

Doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Probing Earth structure with teleseismic transmitted and reflected waves

September 19, 2014

Robert Shedlock
MD-DE-DC Water Science Center

The U.S. Geological Survey in the 21st Century

Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey is one of the oldest science bureaus in the federal government. For most of its history, it was organized around the disciplines of geology, hydrology, and topographic mapping. Significant changes in the Survey's disciplinary approach began in the 1990's when it implemented a major national water quality assessment program, added a new discipline in the form of the Biological Resources Division, and downsized its efforts in a number of classical areas of geologic investigation. Over the last 20 years USGS science programs have evolved to meet the needs of modern society for interdisciplinary earth and biological science. During this period the USGS reorganized into a number of interdisciplinary mission areas that cover climate and land use change, natural hazards, ecosystems, energy and minerals, environmental health, and water. The Mid-Atlantic Region is a fertile area for such interdisciplinary investigations, with important ecosystems in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay regions and the Atlantic coastline. Regulators, resource managers, and planners in the Mid-Atlantic Region and throughout the Nation face many challenges caused by urbanization and population growth, land-use change, climate change, and sea-level rise. The USGS in the 21st Century is striving to generate reliable and objective environmental data and interdisciplinary investigations, which provide important scientific information for wise management of critical natural resources and important ecosystems and for intelligent planning for an uncertain future.

September 26, 2014

Derrick Lampkin

Shear Weakening Due to Drainage from Water-Filled Crevasses Along the Margins of Jakobshavn Isbræ

Abstract: Several marine-terminating outlet glaciers on the Greenland Ice Sheet have undergone dynamic thinning, acceleration, and retreat, largely driven by ocean-ice interactions at the glacier terminus. Commensurate with these changes, surface melt rates are also increasing, resulting in enhanced runoff and infiltration known to influence regional ice velocity and mass flux. In particular, Jakobshavn Isbræ has experienced some of the most dramatic changes relative to the other major outlet glaciers largely responsible for Greenland’s contribution to sea level rise. The fast-flowing trunk of Jakobshavn Isbræ is well within the ablation zone and is exposed to significant accumulated runoff and drainage from water-filled crevasses within the shear margins during the summer. The impact of drainage from these structures on Jakobshavn’s response to terminus instability is not well understood. There are seven major water-filled crevasse regions along the margins, with the largest demonstrating potential drainage volume on order of that from large supraglacial lakes. This effort explores the impact of meltwater injection on shear-margin weakening. Meltwater can reduce lateral drag through enhanced sliding due to distributed basal lubrication or reduced ice viscosity due to cryo-hyrologic warming. The finite-element Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) was used to evaluate the impact of meltwater input into the shear margins on basal sliding and ice stiffness. Ratios of misfit between modeled and measured velocity for inversions of basal friction and ice viscosity show a shift from basal friction-to-viscosity dominated conditions from the winter to the summer, at locations where water-filled crevasses exist.

October 3, 2014

Karen Prestegaard
UMD - Geology

Nonlinear effects of landuse and climate changes on stream channels and networks

October 24, 2014

Eric Hellebrand
University of Hawaii - SOEST

Ocean Leadership Distinguished Lecture

Melt, Mantle, and Mid-ocean Ridges: Insights from Refractory Peridotite

Abstract: Melt supply and crustal thickness can vary along slow-spreading ridges, as suggested by common exposures of serpentinized mantle peridotites on the ocean floor. An unexpected large fraction of these residues of partial melting contains evidence of ancient melt extraction unrelated to recent upwelling under the mid-ocean ridges, as well as chemical isolation on a billion year timescale. In this lecture, we will evaluate the geological and geochemical evidence for the widespread distribution of this refractory mantle component, and explore the role that this melting-suppressing material may have during crustal accretion processes at mid-ocean ridges.

October 31, 2014

Lynn Carter
Goddard Space Flight Center

November 7, 2014

Julio Betancourt

Patterns, sources, and impacts of timing variations and trends in seasonal transitions across the coterminous U.S.

November 14, 2014

Anna Kelbert

December 5, 2014

Lara Wagner

The coordinator for the Colloquium Series is Dr. Sujay Kaushal. You can contact him at skaushal AT