The Carl Heiland Lecture Series takes place on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM during the fall and spring semesters. Each week, we are joined by a distinguished speaker from academia, industry, or government on a topic pertinent to the geosciences. The lecture series is a public event open to all members of the Mines community and beyond.
We are pleased to announce that the Heiland Lecture will be continue to be available remotely this spring, both for the safety of our speakers and attendees, and to enable you to see each lecture from wherever you are in the world. The Spring 2021 schedule is given below–check back with us as we add abstracts and relevant links.
Spring 2021 Schedule
January 13, 2021
No Lecture Scheduled
January 20, 2021
Good Geoscience in Dire Places: Searching for Water in Humanitarian Crises
2020-2021 CSEG Distinguished Lecturer
Dr. Paul Bauman
CSEG Distinguished Lecturer
The number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), worldwide, is about 80 million. Most refugees are fleeing water-stressed and conflict-torn countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, and Syria. Generally, the host countries for refugee populations are also arid or semi-arid, such as Kenya, Chad, and Jordan. In the marginal landscapes where refugee camps are usually sited, groundwater is often the only practical source of water for drinking, cooking, and sanitation. A lack of access to adequate water supplies is directly tied to increasing occurrences of cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, trachoma, and other diseases. Today, with Covid-19 outbreaks already occurring in overcrowded refugee camps, improving hygiene is critical. A well-targeted geophysical exploration program can make the difference between a successful water supply program and one doomed to failure.
In this talk, I lead you on the geophysical search and then the discovery of water in a few of the refugee camps and conflict zones in East Africa. In each of these settings, the cause of human displacement is distinct, the geology and hydrogeology vary, the landscapes are strikingly different, but the need for water is equally desperate.
In one of the largest refugee camps in the world, in the Turkana desert of Kenya, seismic and resistivity surveys helped to increase the water supply to the camp and, simultaneously, a previously unrecognized public health crisis was addressed. In Northern Uganda, in the devastation left behind by Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, village water supplies were restored following geophysical surveys and hydrochemical testing. More importantly, the local Ugandan crews were trained to carry on with this technical work. Finally, in the midst of a civil war in the world’s newest country, South Sudan, an emergency mission relying on resistivity surveys took advantage of a cessation of hostilities to find water in villages stranded by the conflict.
Water for Rohingya refugees, an escape tunnel from a Nazi death camp, Pablo Escobar’s billions of buried drug money, or Holocaust mass burials, Paul Bauman has searched for all of these and much more. Paul is the founding Technical Director of the Near Surface Geophysics group of Advisian, which is based in Calgary, but has undertaken work on all seven continents. Paul has more than 35 years of geophysical exploration experience in the water resources, environmental, engineering, oil and gas, mining, and humanitarian and archaeology sectors. He has a BScE in Geological Engineering and a minor in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, and an MSc in Hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo. Since the early 1990’s, Paul has directed water exploration programs in some of the most water-stressed locations on the planet including Yemen, post-tsunami Aceh, and refugee camps and conflict-affected areas in East Africa and Bangladesh. Some of these geophysical projects have been featured in movies and television documentaries by National Geographic, NOVA, the Discovery Network, and the History Channel.
January 27, 2021
Studying the behavior Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) using Deep Underground Laboratories
Dr. Hansruedi Maurer
DUGLab, Department of Earth Sciences
Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are an attractive option for generating electricity and for storing and retrieving heat. However, deep commercial EGS plants were so far rarely successful. The main reason for these failures is the lack of understanding of the physical processes associated with the creation and maintenance of EGS reservoirs and the generation of induced seismicity. Deep Underground Laboratories (DUGLabs) offer powerful and exciting means to address some of these issues. In DUGLabs, deep-seated existing infrastructure is employed. A key feature is their large overburden, resulting in stress conditions mimicking those of a realistic EGS. Consequently, “in-situ” studies of critical processes, such as stimulation of geothermal reservoirs and circulation of fluids, can be performed. DUGLabs allow deploying dense 3D sensor networks, with which these processes can be monitored in unprecedented detail. I will present results of a small-scale (tens of meters) experiment that we performed recently at the Grimsel Test Site, an underground laboratory located in the Central Swiss Alps. Furthermore, I will report on first results and on-going activities in the newly established Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geonergies and Geosciences (BULGG). A key aspect for the success of all our experiments included a close collaboration between different research disciplines, for example, applied geophysics, seismology, rock mechanics, hydromechanics and geology.
Hansruedi Maurer is professor for exploration and engineering geophysics at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. His research interests span from algorithmic developments for geophysical tomography to innovative field studies concerned with natural hazards, storage of dangerous waste, geothermal energy, cryosphere research and several other areas, where geophysical techniques provide useful information. A key aspect of his research is the tight coupling of latest developments in numerical modelling and inversion theory with solution of problems that arise in field applications of magnetic, geoelectric, inductive electromagnetic, georadar and seismic methods. Moreover, he is one of the leading scientists in geophysical experimental design. His contributions in this relatively new research discipline were awarded with the Best Poster Award at the 1997 meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysics and the 2004 Best Paper Award in Geophysics, the leading journal in applied geophysics. He serves as an Editor for Geophysics, and he is an active member of several national and international scientific boards. Since 2008, he is chairman of the executive committee of the IDEA League Joint Master Programme in Applied Geophysics.
February 3, 2021
February 10, 2021
February 17, 2021
February 24, 2021
March 3, 2021
March 10, 2021
March 17, 2021
March 24, 2021
March 31, 2021
Spring Break – No Lecture Scheduled
April 7, 2021
Subscribe to future Heiland Lecture Announcements