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Sustaining Geology in a Complex Earth System. Resources Plenary lectures at IMA 2002 Plenary lectures at IMA 2002 NSERC reallocation report NSERC reallocation.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustaining Geology in a Complex Earth System. Resources Plenary lectures at IMA 2002 Plenary lectures at IMA 2002 NSERC reallocation report NSERC reallocation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustaining Geology in a Complex Earth System

2 Resources Plenary lectures at IMA 2002 Plenary lectures at IMA 2002 NSERC reallocation report NSERC reallocation report Breaking New Ground Breaking New Ground MMC MMC Dynamics of Complex Systems Dynamics of Complex Systems

3 Terms and Concepts Geology: Study of the Earth, processes, history, materials, life. Geology: Study of the Earth, processes, history, materials, life. Complexity: quantitative term, amount of information needed to describe a system, measured in the level of detail needed to describe the system Complexity: quantitative term, amount of information needed to describe a system, measured in the level of detail needed to describe the system Emergence: parts interact in the context of the whole; system properties cannot be studied by physically taking components apart. Emergence: parts interact in the context of the whole; system properties cannot be studied by physically taking components apart.

4 Earth Lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, Lithosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere, Different length and time scales. Different length and time scales. Feedback between component parts as energy and mass are exchanged, transferred and redistributed Feedback between component parts as energy and mass are exchanged, transferred and redistributed Geological context the feedback might occur on a global scale: sedimentation in basins affects ocean chemistry. On a smaller scale we see micron-scale zones in minerals record changes in lake chemistry. Geological context the feedback might occur on a global scale: sedimentation in basins affects ocean chemistry. On a smaller scale we see micron-scale zones in minerals record changes in lake chemistry.

5 Geological context includes time Time, minutes Time, years Time, thousands of years……

6 Humans

7 Human Perspective I Population 1999: six billion Population 1999: six billion The last billion took 12 years The last billion took 12 years Rate of growth declining 2.2% in 1963 to ~1% today Rate of growth declining 2.2% in 1963 to ~1% today 9 billion by billion by billion entering the age range of reproduction 1.1billion entering the age range of reproduction

8 Human Perspective II Fire on demand 1.5 m to 500,000 years Fire on demand 1.5 m to 500,000 years Mineral striker 40-50,000 years Mineral striker 40-50,000 years Au and Cu use 15,000 years Au and Cu use 15,000 years Cu + Sn to make bronze Cu + Sn to make bronze By the 16 th century Agricola: when ores are washed, the water which has been used poisons the brooks and streams and either destroys the fish or drives them away By the 16 th century Agricola: when ores are washed, the water which has been used poisons the brooks and streams and either destroys the fish or drives them away

9 Humans Humans have become a major force in the Earth system: intervention in many of the exchanges. Humans have become a major force in the Earth system: intervention in many of the exchanges. Global warming Global warming Another measure ~ 42.5 G tonnes of material moved by humans, ~ 42.5 G tonnes of material moved by streams, rivers mass wasting etc. Another measure ~ 42.5 G tonnes of material moved by humans, ~ 42.5 G tonnes of material moved by streams, rivers mass wasting etc. Science now referring to our times as the Anthropozoic era or Anthropocene. Science now referring to our times as the Anthropozoic era or Anthropocene. G is an extensive variable G is an extensive variable

10 Complex Systems

11 Solid and Environmental Earth Sciences Earth Science Earth Science Earth System Science Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Science Interdisciplinary Science Complex Earth System Complex Earth System Earth System Processes Earth System Processes Complex Dynamical System Complex Dynamical System

12 A Complex or Emergent system has interdependent parts Dictionary definition of complex uses interconnected or interwoven which have quite different meanings Dictionary definition of complex uses interconnected or interwoven which have quite different meanings Interdependent variables help define dynamic systems : coupled differential equations Interdependent variables help define dynamic systems : coupled differential equations Strong interactions do not imply interdependence. Strong interactions do not imply interdependence.

13 Complex system: calcite Normalized H + concentration at the face of a growing crystal

14 Complex Earth System: Entropy and Information Entropy of a physical system is largest when it is in equilibrium Entropy of a physical system is largest when it is in equilibrium Most complex system is one at equilibrium Most complex system is one at equilibrium Equilibrium systems have no spatial structure and do not change with time Equilibrium systems have no spatial structure and do not change with time Complex systems have substantial internal structure and such structures change with time. Complex systems have substantial internal structure and such structures change with time. Sensitivity to initial conditions butterfly effect Sensitivity to initial conditions butterfly effect

15 Complex Earth System: Entropy and Information Manitoba: Lithology Geochemistry Hydrology Soil Geophysics Population Agriculture Weather…………… Limnology and varves

16 Complex Earth System: Entropy and Information Local feedback at mineral surface that captures differential diffusion rates and thermal diffusion Composition changes with distance and time

17 Mineral Resources

18 Extraction and processing of minerals Example of how we interact with the Earth over time Example of how we interact with the Earth over time Feedback between the lithosphere and our environment Feedback between the lithosphere and our environment Feedback to our economies and social structures Feedback to our economies and social structures Interconnected or Interdependent? Interconnected or Interdependent? We seek equilibrium or sustainable conditions where the use of minerals is in balance with human needs. We seek equilibrium or sustainable conditions where the use of minerals is in balance with human needs. Complex System Complex System

19 All complex systems record Feedback : Social Structure Public policy Public policy Government Government NGOs NGOs Environment Environment Resources Resources Economics Economics Energy Energy

20 Mines Ministers Conference I Links between exploration and production cycles (6 – 30 years) and resources and reserves Links between exploration and production cycles (6 – 30 years) and resources and reserves In Canada some resources depleted by the the end of this decade In Canada some resources depleted by the the end of this decade Demographics ~80% of geologists within 15 – 20 years of retirement Demographics ~80% of geologists within 15 – 20 years of retirement 300 of 2.5 Million US high school grads interested in mining 300 of 2.5 Million US high school grads interested in mining

21 Mines Ministers Conference II More maps More maps Integrated databases Integrated databases HQP HQP Disconnect between University curricula and what is needed by Industry Disconnect between University curricula and what is needed by Industry How can disconnected elements be involved in feedback? How can disconnected elements be involved in feedback?

22 Research and Training

23 Research Out of ~320 academics surveyed for the last reallocation exercise ~6% indicated they would be doing research on mineral deposits. Out of ~320 academics surveyed for the last reallocation exercise ~6% indicated they would be doing research on mineral deposits. Large portion of NSERC funds now targeted Large portion of NSERC funds now targeted Discovery grants Discovery grants NSERC-CRD NSERC-CRD Strategic grants Strategic grants

24 Research Pd coordination by EXAFS Asbestos and ferrihydrite from lung tissue Atom coordination on mineral surfaces As 3+ v. As 5+ mediated by seasonally controlled bacteria

25 Research Atomic Force Microscopy Synchrotron Radiation LAM-ICP-MS

26 NSERC reallocation Recognition of the strong interactions that are now occurring between humankind and the Earth System currently constitutes both an urgent research challenge as well as an important research opportunity for Earth Sciences Recognition of the strong interactions that are now occurring between humankind and the Earth System currently constitutes both an urgent research challenge as well as an important research opportunity for Earth Sciences Recognition of the strong interdependence between humankind and the Earth System currently constitutes both an urgent research challenge as well as an important research opportunity for Earth Sciences Recognition of the strong interdependence between humankind and the Earth System currently constitutes both an urgent research challenge as well as an important research opportunity for Earth Sciences

27 NSERC strategy for Future Development of the Discipline Three areas deemed to be intellectually, socially, economically and culturally significant: Proposals 1, 2 & 3 Three areas deemed to be intellectually, socially, economically and culturally significant: Proposals 1, 2 & 3 Global Environmental Change and the Challenge of Greenhouse Warming Global Environmental Change and the Challenge of Greenhouse Warming Earth Resources: Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Development (Petroleum, Freshwater, Energy and Mineral Resources) Earth Resources: Environmental Stewardship and Sustainable Development (Petroleum, Freshwater, Energy and Mineral Resources) Earth System Evolution and Dynamics (seismic arrays and analytical instrumentation) Earth System Evolution and Dynamics (seismic arrays and analytical instrumentation)

28 Results: Steering Committee* Budget Reallocations Contribution Proposals Funded Through ReallocationsTotal Reallocate d Chemistry 30,419,70 0(3,041,970) 1,505,000 1,000,000 2,005,000 4,510,000 Condensed Matter Physics8,412,794(841,279) 825, , , 000 1,465,000 General Physics4,580,501(458,050) 125, , ,000 Solid and Environmental Earth Sciences 20,711,73 2(2,071,173) 700, ,0 00 1,300,000 Space, Astronomy and Relativity6,289,088(628,909) 515,0 00 Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics826,286(82,629) 190, 000 Subatomic Physics 13,845,55 0(1,384,555) 175, , , , , , 0001,845,000

29 Interconnected or Interdependent?

30 Geology curricula Requirements for Grass Roots Exploration: Requirements for Grass Roots Exploration: Acceptable business political and related risks: permitting, environmental, taxes, ownership, social issues, business strategy, price and marketing Acceptable business political and related risks: permitting, environmental, taxes, ownership, social issues, business strategy, price and marketing Relevance of curricula Relevance of curricula Courses added to curricula such as environmental geology, geomorphic process, Earth system science Courses added to curricula such as environmental geology, geomorphic process, Earth system science Mineral deposits represents only one of the areas we are called on to support Mineral deposits represents only one of the areas we are called on to support

31 The disconnect University curricula: geology, math, physics, chemistry, structural geology, paleontology, petrology (Ig/Met/Sed), stratigraphy, sedimentology, basin analysis, instrumental methods, mineralogy, global tectonics, petroleum geology, crystallography, mineral deposits, field mapping, thesis, communications, geochemistry, geomorphology University curricula: geology, math, physics, chemistry, structural geology, paleontology, petrology (Ig/Met/Sed), stratigraphy, sedimentology, basin analysis, instrumental methods, mineralogy, global tectonics, petroleum geology, crystallography, mineral deposits, field mapping, thesis, communications, geochemistry, geomorphology …………… Professional Registration Electives, 5 courses Electives, 5 courses Environmental, law, ethics, economics Environmental, law, ethics, economics Soil microbiology…………… Soil microbiology……………

32 Sustaining Geology: Interdependence Research: Research: number of themes, practical, theoretical and socially relevant number of themes, practical, theoretical and socially relevant Teaching programs: Teaching programs: Professional Registration requirements Professional Registration requirements Flexibility to include social relevance Flexibility to include social relevance environmental stewardship environmental stewardship mineral and energy resources mineral and energy resources sustainable development sustainable development

33 Sustaining Earth Sustaining Earth means keeping the planets life support systems functional without going in to a long term decline so that human habitation can be indefinite Sustaining Earth means keeping the planets life support systems functional without going in to a long term decline so that human habitation can be indefinite Life support system includes soils, water atmosphere and biosphere. Life support system includes soils, water atmosphere and biosphere. If any part fails…………. If any part fails…………. Doesnt speak to purpose or quality of life Doesnt speak to purpose or quality of life

34 Sustaining Geology : Survival geology is the service science to the Earth and the Environment geology is the service science to the Earth and the Environment quantitative data on the physical and chemical behaviour and characteristics of Earth materials quantitative data on the physical and chemical behaviour and characteristics of Earth materials many environmental and industrial process used to be considered relatively benign, advances in technology and theory mean we have gained a much better understanding of what is really going on. many environmental and industrial process used to be considered relatively benign, advances in technology and theory mean we have gained a much better understanding of what is really going on. model the behaviour of minerals in natural and industrial systems. model the behaviour of minerals in natural and industrial systems. the theoretical and instrumental expertise needed to tackle many mineral extraction, mineral processing and environmental problems is resident in geology departments and geology surveys. the theoretical and instrumental expertise needed to tackle many mineral extraction, mineral processing and environmental problems is resident in geology departments and geology surveys. a truly unique aspect to geological work is that it is the geologist (the one who maps the rocks) who samples the minerals in the appropriate spatial and temporal context. a truly unique aspect to geological work is that it is the geologist (the one who maps the rocks) who samples the minerals in the appropriate spatial and temporal context.

35 Geology : Emergence Geology as we currently know it is rapidly becoming the professionally registerable practice of Earth Science Geology as we currently know it is rapidly becoming the professionally registerable practice of Earth Science Earth Science suggests an increasing awareness of the whole system, more degree options, more courses. Larger integrated faculty with more facilities. Earth Science suggests an increasing awareness of the whole system, more degree options, more courses. Larger integrated faculty with more facilities. Geology and our resource requirements need to be framed in a social context Geology and our resource requirements need to be framed in a social context Interdependence Interdependence


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