2012, Oct. 15-19: COCARDE Workshop and Field Seminar, Germany



Fluid flow-related carbonate build-ups: from lacustrine to (early) marine environments

The Ries Impact Crater as a Natural Laboratory

Nördlingen, Germany, 15-19 October 2012


The COCARDE Workshop 2012 in Nördlingen, Germany, will evaluate well-preserved spring and seepage associated mounds in the Ries impact crater. Results from the 2011 Erbisberg Mound drilling will be compared and contrasted with other research efforts on fluid flow-related carbonate build-ups in preparation of drilling seepage associated mounds in Morocco. The field seminar to the Miocene carbonates and Franconian Jurassic reef systems outstandingly serves capacity building in academia and industry.


The Workshop will be co-organized by GEOMAR Kiel (Anneleen Foubert, visiting scientist at GEOMAR Kiel), which is jointly with Leuven University leader of the COCARDE-Science Task Group and which will manage the overall organization, and Göttingen University, where Gernot Arp will highlight the science of the Ries carbonate system and will lead the field seminar, including logistics. Co-convener are Stefan Schroeder, University of Manchaster (UK) and Bruce Fouke from the University of Illinois, expert in microbial carbonates, who adds to the workshop a trans-atlantic dimension.


Objectives of the workshop

Towards innovative continental “small mound drilling”

In 2011, the Geological Survey of Bavaria carried out under the scientific direction of Gernot Arp the first scientific drilling of a spring carbonate mound in the Ries Impact Crater, Germany: the Erbisberg Mound drilling project. Preliminary results from the Erbisberg Mound suggest that impact-induced thermal springs were involved in the very early stage of mound formation, at least at this site. The Ries Impact Crater (Nördlingen, Germany) therefore forms the perfect setting to discuss fluid-flow related carbonate build-ups and to exchange views and experience across disciplines and carbonate research fields. The outstanding scientific value of the Ries lacustrine carbonate system and the proximity of a unique Jurassic reef domain moreover meet a second major objective of this combined Workshop and Field Seminar: to add a significant and broadband field training component for young scientists and industrial trainees in carbonate systems.

The Ries carbonate system

The Nördlinger Ries is a circular basin separating the Jurassic limestone plateau’s of the Swabian and Franconian Alb, the latter indeed famous for its vast coral reefs, sponge reefs, microbialites and the lagoonal “lithographic” limestone of Solnhofen, with its legendary fauna. The Ries crater was formed 15 Million years ago by the impact of an asteroid. Apart from its impact nature, the Ries basin offers a great opportunity to study post-impact Miocene lacustrine microbialites and algal build-ups in the light of changing hydrochemical conditions in the crater lake. Prior to the sixties, when the Ries basin was considered to be of volcanic origin, the large calcitic mounds were regarded as hot spring travertines. In the late sixties, these mounds were compared with the Searles Lake tufa pinnacles and thus regarded as “cool” and “built by algae”. Material from soda lake spring mounds from China evidence that the Ries mounds are indeed very similar to the soda lake mounds. Central parts of the mounds and pinnacles are composed of highly porous so-called sickle-cell limestones, with up to cm-sized voids. Marginal mound parts show thrombolites, planar non-skeletal stromatolites and rare green-algal frameworks.

Expected impact of the workshop

The Ries Workshop will discuss in a first session the results of the Erbisberg Mound drilling and frame these in other research efforts on lacustrine Recent spring carbonates in Turkey, the USA, etc. During advanced discussion sessions controversial interpretations will be confronted. The potential of those fluid-flow related carbonate deposits as potential analogues for non-marine carbonates in the South Atlantic subsalt will be discussed during a second session. Moreover, as Industry is recently confronted with such frontier carbonate systems, they are urgently in demand of both interpretation keys and skilled brainpower.
The COCARDE Ries Workshop and Field Seminar offers both a forum for reflecting on such questions and a training platform to expose young scientists and industrial trainees to new exploration concepts. In a third phase, the thematic topics discussed during the previous sessions will be opened to include marine seepage associated carbonate mounds such as encountered on- and offshore in Morocco. The need for drilling will be discussed in a final session. The discussion of methodologies will encompass both data acquisition (drilling and downhole logging of small mounds) and analytical approaches to characterize palaeo-environments (e.g. palaeo-temperature) and to capture the signature of fluid flow – of various, and often varying nature – from mound genesis to diagenesis. This session will be finished by an hands-on writing session where mixed senior and junior scientists will be working in smaller groups to launch potential new drilling and research proposals.
Additionally, this workshop and field seminar will contribute to the long-term objective of the ESF COCARDE-ERN network to evaluate, compile and document (in particular by scientific drilling) in a collective effort “mound reference routes”, which eventually may serve both academic and industrial communities as training routes. The Ries-Franconian Alb region may well qualify for such goal, and adds to the already surveyed Asturias-León route (Oviedo field seminar) and the Moroccan mound heritage route (Morocco field seminar).


Preliminary workshop and field seminar programme

To stimulate open discussions and fuel the workshop with new ideas which can only be studied on the field, the workshop will be preceded by an intensive field seminar. Moreover, the field seminar will give the opportunity to young scientists to confront their ideas and vision on carbonate build-ups with experts from industry and academia.

Programme (pdf)

Registration form



 The call for participation of up to 6 young scientists (PhD, postdoc) is now closed.

Below the list of the researchers who obtained the COCARDE grant:  


- Natalia Amezcua Torres (Mexico)

- Alexander T. Brasier (The Netherlands)

- Valentin Chesnel (Switzerland)

- Tobias Dauner (Germany)

- Karen Gariboldi (Italy)

- Martin Kugel (Germany)

More details concerning travel schedule, overnight stays, meals, travel cost refund, and scientific reporting are available here.


2013, April 12: Call for Pre-Proposals on Scientific Drilling


Call for Pre-Proposals: Scientific Drilling and the Evolution of the Earth System - An NSF Workshop


May 17-19, 2013
Convener/s: Lynn Soreghan (University of Oklahoma), Andrew Cohen (University of Arizona)



A National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop will occur May 17-19, 2013 on "Scientific Drilling and the Evolution of the Earth System: Climate, Biota, Biogeochemistry, and Extreme Events." The objective of this workshop is to 1) develop a community of researchers interested in using scientific drilling for sedimentary targets to address questions of Earth System evolution, and 2) offer these researchers direction on how to proceed-- e.g. how to develop a compelling drilling proposal, logistical issues to consider, funding sources to approach, etc. The intent is to galvanize research teams to move forward with future proposals for pursuing specific, high-priority drilling targets.
To secure participation, all interested researchers are invited to submit a brief (maximum 3 pages) pre-proposal identifying a viable continental scientific drilling target that addresses fundamental problems of scientific importance in the areas of paleoclimate, earth history, stratigraphy, paleoecology and/or paleobiology from any interval of Earth History.


All proposals should briefly address the following criteria:


1. Science
  • Location and age of target deposits
  • Compelling science issue(s)/hypotheses to be addressed by drilling, focusing on topics in paleoclimate, paleoenvironments, paleobiology, and/or extreme events
  • Stratigraphic completeness, continuity and resolution
  • Existence of baseline stratigraphic, and paleontologic data
  • Existence of, or potential to collect, supporting data from correlative outcrops, geophysics or prior drilling
  • Existence of, or potential to collect, a robust age model through the target interval


2. Logistics
  • Challenges to drilling the site and obtaining subsurface information (e.g., suitable terrain for site-survey geophysics)
  • Access for drilling equipment
  • Permitting issues
  • Complexity of operations, local impact/cooperation (community and environmental)



We encourage pre-proposals to be submitted by teams of interdisciplinary researchers and will strive to accommodate as many members of a team as funds allow, while enabling as many teams to be represented as possible.
The workshop is meant to enable proponents to exchange information and best practices in order to ultimately develop more sophisticated proposals for future drilling. Proponents should be prepared to become centrally involved in subsequent geophysical and logistical site survey proposals and follow-on work aimed to advance promising drilling targets.


Pre-proposals are due by Friday April 12, 2013. They should be a maximum of 3 pages in length, not including references, and submitted via email as .pdf files to

Dr. Lynn Soreghan (
(School of Geology & Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019)
Dr. Andrew Cohen (
(Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721)

2011, Oct. 10-14: ICDP Training Course on Continental Scientific Drilling

ICDP Training Course on Continental Scientific Drilling


ICDP invites postgraduate students and post-docs to apply for the ICDP Training Course on Continental Scientific Drilling to be held October 10-14, 2011 in Windischeschenbach, Germany. This training course aims to cover all important aspects of continental scientific drilling. More detailed information is available on the ICDP web page at:

Costs of registration, travel, meals, and accommodation for this training course are covered by ICDP. Deadline for submission an application is June 15, 2011. Applications should contain a short (1-2 page) curriculum vitae, a one page (max.) covering statement justifying the application, and two letters/references in support of the application.

Please note that the number of participants is limited to a number of maximum 30 participants. Selection of applicants will be made by the ICDP with preference given to applicants from upcoming ICDP projects, ICDP member countries and developing countries. Results will be communicated by mid of July 2011.

2012, April 2-7: 5th ISDSC, Amsterdam

5thISDSC_003ISDSC5 will be held in the Artis Conference premises (, Amsterdam from 2-7 April, 2012. The meeting will be a valuable opportunity to demonstrate and apply the latest research results of cold-water coral research on a broad range of topics, ranging from Larval dispersal, Linkages and Connectivity to Coral Biology and Reproduction, from Ocean circulation to Hydrodynamics, from (Paleo)productivity to Reef and Mound structures and from New proxies in paleoceanography to Conservation strategies, National and international Management, Marine Protected Areas and beyond. Workshops will be held inclusive of a video analysis workshop presently under consideration.


ISDSC has become the major conference for all aspects of cold-water coral research. Crossing the boundaries between marine geology, biology, chemistry and physics, the meeting will address key scientific issues such as ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, environmental forcing factors, coral carbonate mound initiation, and their role in past and present biogeography, deep-water reef development and diagenesis as well as more applied aspects including (potential) reservoir capacities of carbonate mounds (under past and present constraints) and the effects of climate change. All the issues will be discussed in a global context alongside dedicated science-policy interface sessions outlining the most recent developments in management and conservation.


The topics to be discussed include four overriding themes:
(1)       Biodiversity and Ecosystem functioning
(2)       Environmental conditions and constraints
(3)       Paleoceanography and climate change
(4)       Policy, Management and Conservation


Early registration (early bird fees apply) and submission of abstracts starts September 2011. Please note that only 250 participants can be accommodated (in plenary session mode). We thus encourage early registration. Reservations will be made upon order of receipt of payment. For detailed information:

2011, July 5-8: 28h IAS Meeting of Sedimentology

28h IAS Meeting of Sedimentology, Zaragoza (Spain), July 5th-8th 2011


We would like to invite you to submit an abstract for the Session T2b: Carbonate Platforms (Theme 2: Marine Depositional Environments).
This technical session (T2b) will focus on the broad spectrum of marine carbonate depositional systems from modern settings and the geological record. It aims to provide a forum for the presentation of research outcomes and innovative ideas regarding processes and products of carbonate sediment accumulation. We welcome abstracts for talks and posters contributing to the following themes a) the facies character, architecture and depositional models of carbonate systems, b) the different types of carbonate factories and their variability through time and space; c) the intrinsic and extrinsic controlling factors on carbonate platform growth and geometry evolution.


The deadline for abstract submission is due on February 15th of 2011
Convenors: Juan R. Bahamonde & Giovanna Della Porta

2011, April 3-8: EGU 2010 Session CL4.17/SSP1.5

Major achievements and perspectives in scientific ocean and continental drilling (Session CL4.17/SSP1.5)


Convener: Ruediger Stein
Co-Conveners: Ulrich Harms , Ursula Röhl , Thomas Wiersberg


Since 1968, scientific ocean drilling is recovering unique global geological records preserved in marine sedimentary deposits and basement rocks. These records obtained within the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) have been key for major advances in our understanding of our planet, including palaeoclimate, palaeoceanography, deep biosphere and crustal dynamics and tectonic processes.
Global continental efforts are coordinated within the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP). Funding and support for research projects is provided to tackle challenging geoscientific themes of socio-economic relevance such as paleoclimate, earthquakes and volcanism, or unconventional energy resources.
The principal goals of this session are to summarize and review major scientific achievements in ocean and continental drilling with special emphasis on the European contributions to IODP and ICDP. Furthermore, perspectives and visions for drilling projects using a multi-platform approach will be tackled.


Abstract deadline: 10.01.2011, 24h (link)
Further details: please contact the (co-)convener or go to

2011, April 3-8: EGU 2010 Session CL1.19

Ocean climate viewed through deep-sea corals (Session CL1.19)


Convener: Norbert Frank (
Co-Convener: Tina van de Flierdt (,
Co-Convener: Andres Rüggeberg (


Over the past decade deep-sea (cold-water) corals have emerged as a new archive of ocean dynamics and climate change. Numerous species can be precisely dated, provide rapidly growing aragonite skeletons to investigate novel geochemical tracers and occur with high spatial and temporal coverage throughout the world oceans. Since the late nineties much progress on dating tools, tracer developments and bio-mineralization have been made, indicating climate and oceanic changes from decades to hundreds of thousands of years. Consequently, we invite here to present records of present and past ocean dynamics and climate change including ocean acidification as derived from deep-sea corals and we greatly welcome furthermore studies on cold-water coral bio-mineralization and reef development.


Abstract deadline: 10.01.2011, 24h (link)
Further details: please contact the (co-)convener or go to

2011, Nov. 14-16: Congress of Association of French Sedimentologists

The next congress of the Association of French Sedimentologists (ASF) will be held in Dijon (Bourgogne, France), November 14-16, 2011. Two sessions may be of interest to the COCARDE community:


Reef and biogenic buildups session:

This session will include contributions on: (1) the evolution of reef systems and frame-building communities during geological times; (2) the impact of environmental changes: sea level, climate, seawater chemistry, tectonics, etc. on the initiation, the development and the demise of reef systems; (3) the architecture, diagenesis, fracturation and georesources associated with buildups and (4) interaction between buildups and platform architecture.


The presented works will deal with time-intervals from centuries to several-million years and from biomineral to reef-scale. The use of recent techniques: CT scanning, nanoSIMS, etc. or of stratigraphic modelling are especially welcome.


Session conveners: Emmanuelle Vennin (Biogéosciences, Université de Bourgogne) and Fréderic Boulvain (Université de Liège).


Carbonate and evaporite sedimentary systems session:

This session aims at providing a state of the art of the current studies and the prospects on carbonate, evaporite and mixed sedimentary systems, from continental to oceanic environments.


The presentations will deal with: (1) the sedimentology and the architecture of carbonate, evaporitic and/or mixed sytems; (2) the carbonates and evaporites deformation/sedimentation interactions; (3) the diagenesis of carbonates and evaporites; (4) the organisms and the processes producing biogenic sediments and the characterization of floro-faunal community replacements; (5) the quantification of carbonate production and its role in the global carbon cycle and (6) the forward stratigraphic modelling of these sedimentary systems.


The presented works will be based on petrography, mineralogy, geochemistry, geophysics and/or petrophysics. The scale of the studies will be from micro- to sedimentary basin-scale.


Session conveners: Gilbert Camoin (Cerege) and Raphaël Bourillot (EGID, Université Bordeaux 3).


The abstracts should be submitted on the website before,1st July 2011. Several field trips will be proposed to the congress participants, including some excursions in the famous Burgundy vineyard.


For further details contact Emanuelle Vennin (, Raphael Bourillot ( or go to the conference homepage (

2010, Oct. 12-13: EUROCEAN 2010 Conference

Grand challenges for marine research in the next decade



The EurOCEAN 2010 Conference (Ostend, 12-13 October 2010) will provide a unique forum for the European marine science community to consider, discuss and respond to new policy developments and achievements since the last EurOCEAN conference (2007, Aberdeen), and to highlight new challenges and opportunities for marine research in the next decade. The EurOCEAN 2010 Conference and Ostend Declaration (October 2010) will come at a crucial time for the European marine science community to influence how marine science is supported in Europe in the coming decade. It will provide a timely opportunity to reinforce the importance of marine science in effective maritime policy making and the key role it will play in the path towards economic growth and recovery in Europe.


Further information:

2010, April 27-30: “50 Years of IOC UNESCO” St. Petersburg, Russia

International Conference “50 Years of Education and Awareness Raising for Shaping the Future of the Oceans and Coasts”
Sharing lessons learned and proposing long-term projections


27–30 April 2010 in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Further information: