Category Archives: Events

Excursion 2019: Soil in the City

Soil in the city: man shaping the Ghent urban landscape, hydrology and soils

We are happy to announce that the annual excursion of SSSB of 2019 will take place on 24th of May in Ghent.

During the excursion, we will move to a habitat unknown to many soil scientists: the city. Although Flanders is highly urbanised, the urban soilscape remains a blind spot in our soil science knowledge. During this excursion, we will explore how man, throughout history, has shaped, and is still shaping the landscape, hydrology and soils of the city of Ghent. The excursion stops will take us to different historic parts of Ghent that testify to the various interactions between humans, soil, landscape, and hydrology, and illustrate how this influences ecosystem service delivery.

Join us on the excursion to reflect on how we can characterize, evaluate and manage our urban soilscape, and this against the stunning scenery of the city of Ghent! Subscription here.

 

Thematic day 2018: Biogeochemical cycles and their role in the Earth system

What? Thematic day on “Biogeochemical cycles and their role in the Earth system”
When? November 21st, 2018
Where? Palace of the Royal Academies, Brussels

Description. Biogeochemical cycles are characterized by geo, i.e. physical and chemical transformations of an element on earth; bio, i.e. a cycle involves at least one biotic process; and cycle, because element species produced in one process are eventually consumed in a subsequent process. Biogeochemistry is, therefore, an interdisciplinary discipline that includes physical, chemical, and biological process that contribute to the functions and values of ecosystems on Earth.

Biogeochemical cycles fulfill key functions that are critically important to maintain life on Earth. These functions include: storage and use of radiation energy the Earth receives (CO2 fixation); and recycling of material, which allows the biosphere to use the same element over and over again. The elements studied in biogeochemical cycles depend on the scientific question to pursue, but in soil science we are merely interested in biogeochemical cycles because of the role they play defining the interaction between livings systems (e.g. plants, microorganisms) and the abiotic environment (e.g. soils, rocks). Major and minor elements are considered as essential or beneficial depending on their role in terrestrial biosphere functioning.

The interplays between elements (C, N, P, S and Fe, Mn, Si, Ca, Mg, K) are however are however central for understanding the role of biogeochemical processes on global balance of elements. The interdisciplinarity nature of biogeochemistry becomes obvious in various research lines, such as: catchment and river monitoring, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem functioning, biosphere-atmosphere exchange in a global change era, (global) nutrient cycles and their interactions, isotope systems, etc.

We invite oral and poster submissions that studied biogeochemical cycles in soil systems, but highly encourage submissions that show interactions between the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere, thereby highlighting the key role of biogeochemical cycles for the Earth system. 

Please proceed to abstract submission here. Deadline for submission: October 19th, 2018.

International excursion 2018: Soils and land use in the upper Rhine graben and cuesta landscapes

The International SSSB excursion 2018  will be hosted by our German colleagues from Hohenheim University, Baden- Württemberg: May 21st – 25th,  2018

We will witness soilscapes and land use developed in unique geomorphological landscapes related to the Rhine River graben and its related cuesta landscapes. The geological setting comprise strata varying from old granites, Jurassic  clays and sandstone, to more recent mid-rift volcanics and loess. Together with altitude differences ranging from 100 to 1500 meters above sea level, ingredients are present for a myriad of soil types to evolve. Together with scholars from Hohenheim University our Belgian participants will be in a position to explore these soilscapes and land use and above all reflect on land use, sustainability in a perspective of cultural history.

More information and photo report here.