The EGU scientific activities are organised through scientific divisions encompassing all studies of the Earth and its environment and of the solar system in general. The management and administration of each division are the collective task and responsibility of the respective officers.
The Atmospheric Sciences (AS) Division is one of the largest divisions of the European Geosciences Union. The research areas covered by the division extend from the large-scale dynamical/meteorological processes and systems in the atmosphere (like cyclones and global atmosphere circulation) to the small scale turbulent mixing, they cover the time frame from centuries (in connection with climate research) to seconds (in the context of fast chemistry). Atmospheric sciences include studies of the atmosphere composition, aerosol and cloud physics, gas-particles interactions and chemical reaction kinetics studied in the labs.
The Division on Biogeosciences integrates biological, chemical, and physical sciences dealing with processes and interactions within terrestrial and extraterrestrial realms through the current and earlier geological history of Earth and solar system in general. Its focus is beyond the established scientific approaches embracing multi- and interdisciplinary understandings of the biosphere functioning in space and time. In this division, we encourage the participation of scientists across different disciplines, including researchers from the field of applied biogeosciences as well as industrial professionals. Experimental, conceptual, and modelling approaches are welcome.
Climate: Past, Present & Future
The Division on Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL) is one of the larger divisions of the European Geosciences Union. It pools from many disciplines and consequently has many co-organised sessions with other divisions at the EGU General Assembly. The division is very interdisciplinary and covers climate variations on all time scales. CL includes the study of any kind of climate archive from rocks to ocean cores, speleothems, ice cores, chronicles, to instrumental records to name a few. Besides observations, climate modelling on all time scales from the deep past to the future are areas covered by the division. Any aspect of the climate system falls into the realm of the division e.g. atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, cryosphere, and geology. Themes focus on the climate on Earth but may also expand other planets or the Sun.
The cryosphere are those parts of the Earth and other planetary bodies that are subject to prolonged periods of temperatures below the freezing point of water. These include glaciers, frozen ground, sea ice, snow and ice. One of the main aims of the EGU Division on Cryospheric Sciences (CR) is to facilitate the exchange of information within the science community. It does so by organising series of sessions at the annual EGU General Assembly, and through the publishing of the open-access journal The Cryosphere. The division awards the Louis Agassiz medal for outstanding contributions to the science of the cryosphere.
Earth Magnetism & Rock Physics
The Earth is a dynamical planet: its interiors’ electro-magnetism and physical properties contribute to this exciting property of our planet. The Earth Magnetism & Rock Physics (EMRP) Division addresses the experimental, theoretical and modelling approaches of fundamental solid-Earth and magneto-hydrodynamic processes that extend from the Earth’s surface to the core. A continuous demand for a better understanding of the magneto-hydrodynamic and physical processes responsible for the Earth’s magnetic field spatial and temporal variability is required. Theoretical and experimental aspects of rock physics, environmental magnetism, magnetic anomalies and plate tectonic reconstructions, magnetic polarity reversals, petrophysical assessment throughout physical, mechanical and magnetic properties, electrical conductivity and transport properties of the Earth’s crust and mantle are some of the key topics of research of our ‘living planet’ to which this division is dedicated.
Energy, Resources and the Environment
The EGU brings together geoscientists from all over Europe and the rest of the world, covering all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. This geoscientific interdisciplinarity is needed to tackle the challenges of the future. A major challenge for humankind is to provide adequate and reliable supplies of affordable energy and other resources. These should be obtained in environmentally sustainable ways, which is essential for economic prosperity, environmental quality and political stability around the world. One goal of the division Energy, Resources & the Environment (ERE) is to be a leading discussion forum for these issues. The core of the division consists of experts in various fields that will help meet the mutually coupled challenges of energy, resources and the environment.
Earth and Space Science Informatics
As far as informatics and information technology are concerned, the ESSI Division deals with community-driven and multidisciplinary challenges and solutions. This include topics like: data model and metadata standardisation, spatial data infrastructure interoperability, semantics services, quality and uncertainty information encoding and propagation, geospatial data processing, environmental model accessibility, big data management, and data visualisation for scientific discovery.
Traditionally geodesy is the science of the measurement and the mapping of the Earth’s surface. Since the surface is mainly shaped by the Earth’s gravity field the classical definition includes the Earth’s gravitational potential. Observing the Earth’s figure, the orientation and rotation as well as the gravity field, geodesy today provides spatial and temporal patterns of geophysical processes within the Earth system such as sea-level rise, tides, melting of continental ice masses, changes in global water circulation and in the atmosphere or deformations of the solid Earth. Consequently, the Geodesy Division covers activities on the whole spectrum of modern geodetic Earth system modelling from the measurement systems to the investigation of geophysical processes.
Studies related to the Geodynamics Division include all aspects of geodynamic processes in the lithosphere, mantle, and core. They encompass different approaches, including observations, imaging, theory, modelling (numerical simulations and laboratory experiments), and interpretation. Examples include the dynamics of subduction, mid-ocean-ridge processes, vertical and horizontal plate movements driving mountain building and basin formation, lithosphere dynamics, mantle convection, and core dynamics.
Geosciences Instrumentation and Data Systems
The Division on Geosciences Instrumentation and Data Systems (GI) intends to be a forum for developments in instrumentation, technology, methods and data handling used in any field of the various geosciences. By promoting the discussion between specialists from widely diverse fields, advances in instrumentation made in one field might be utilised in other areas also and encourage co-operation, thereby saving separate development work and making new approaches possible, which otherwise might still have to wait for years or even decades.
Geomorphology is the scientific study of land-surface features and the dynamic processes that shape them. Besides focusing on the diverse physical landscapes of the Earth, geomorphologists also study surfaces of other planets. Understanding landform history and dynamics, and predicting future changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments, and numerical modelling is at the heart of geomorphology. The division brings together research on processes that build topography trough e.g. the effects of tectonic forces as well as processes that modify the terrain such as weathering, erosion through running water, waves, glacial ice, wind and gravitational forces. Division members also study the impact of humans on geomorphological processes and investigate how geomorphological knowledge can be applied to solve problems of relevance to societies.
Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology
The Division on Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology & Volcanology (GMPV) includes disciplines that are fundamental to, but not restricted to studies of the solid Earth. Important themes include the nature, composition, structure of the Earth’s mantle; the composition, origin and evolution of the oceanic and continental crust; the formation and crystallisation of magmas; the chemical compositions of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks; element transfer between the surface envelopes of the Earth; volcanoes and volcanism. While most of these studies fall in the realm of fundamental research, studies of pollution in the surface or subsurface waters, the formation of ore deposits, and the environmental impact of volcanism are examples of more applied research.
The Hydrological Sciences (HS) Division is concerned with all aspects of the terrestrial hydrological cycle (including precipitation, surface water, soil water, groundwater) from the pore scale to the global scale, and its relationships and interactions with the atmospheric part of the hydrological cycle. The division also covers the interaction between hydrology and geomorphology (e.g., erosion, sedimentation, groundwater systems), the relationships between hydrology and soils, as well as the interaction between the hydrosphere and the biosphere (e.g., ecohydrology, wetlands). The ways in which hydrological processes are observed, quantitatively computed, and forecasted are also addressed by the division. Management and operation of water resources by societies in various parts of the world is also within the division’s realm.
The Natural Hazards (NH) Division covers all the geological and geophysical processes that can be hazardous and can produce damage to the environment and to the society. Therefore it is a place where scientists and researchers of various geo-disciplines meet with sociologists, economists and people responsible for territorial and urban defence and planning policies. The aim is to improve the understanding of the evolution of the processes and to discuss new technologies, methods and strategies to mitigate their disastrous effects. The division is structured in nine subdivisions covering specific hazards. Of these seven are listed here: hydro-meteorological, volcanic, landslide, earthquake-, sea and ocean, snow-avalanche- and glacial, wildfire hazards. The eighth subdivision covers biological and environmental hazards and in addition hazards not included in the previous ones. The ninth (natural hazards and society) focuses on the social aspects of the hazards, including development sustainability, emergency, warning, after-disaster resilience, etc. Most of the topics that are treated in the NH Division are also treated in other EGU divisions, which is expected due to the intrinsic transversal nature of the NH Division.
Nonlinear Processes in Geosciences
Although the geosciences are rife with nonlinearity, the NP Division is focused on a series of nonlinear paradigms whose applications cut across the ‘geospheres’, disciplines. Examples include deterministic chaos, tipping points, nonlinear waves, similarity across scales (scaling, scale invariance, fractals, multifractals), network theory, stochasticity, predictability and its limits, pattern formation, self-organised criticality, extreme events. NP geoscience is highly multidisciplinary, it plays an important role in fundamental geoscience. Applications of NP science include new methodologies, new modelling and new data analysis techniques.
The Ocean Sciences (OS) Division has the major objective to provide an attractive and productive environment for scientists from Europe and all over the world to gain progress in the various ocean science disciplines and have beneficial interactions with other fields of geosciences. For that purpose, we organise with the teams of conveners the ocean science part of the program of the scientific conference that his held every year during the EGU General Assembly. We give special attention to topics cross-cutting with those of other divisions. We recognise deserving colleagues in various stages of their careers with our Award program: the division awards the Fritdjof Nansen Medal to mid or full career scientists and the Outstanding Early Career Scientists Award for researchers in the early stages of their careers. We also award prizes to outstanding student posters at every General Assembly. The division maintains very strong links with the EGU Publications Committee, and especially with the board of editors of the open access journal Ocean Science (OS). The division also collaborates with other EGU committees in the organisation of relevant topical conferences and summer schools.
Planetary and Solar System Sciences
The aim of the Planetary & Solar System Sciences (PS) Division is the promotion of all fields of planetary sciences, ground-based and space mission exploration of the solar system and beyond, and related models. PS covers papers on both fundamental and applied topics regarding the exploration of the solar system. The division, devoted to science applications in space, hosts interdisciplinary contributions on the origins and the evolution of the solar system and the exoplanetary systems, as well as ideas for future exploration while largely contributing to outreach and educational activities for all audiences.
Seismology as a discipline contributes to a large variety of both basic and applied scientific fields, and addresses urgent questions in the context of both natural resources and natural hazards. The Seismology (SM) Division at EGU aims to strengthen its interdisciplinarity and impact by driving the development from static to dynamic geophysical models, by conducting research that spans from acquisition parameters to petrophysical properties, and by supporting the transition from geo-modelling to geo-technical application. Thereby, the SM Division will be increasingly able to make relevant forecasts and provide valuable information to tackle future challenges in securing natural resources and quantifying natural hazards.
Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology
The Stratigraphy, Sedimentology and Palaeontology Division (SSP) focuses its activities on all aspects of the sedimentary record. About 70% of the Earth surface is covered by sedimentary deposits, which are eroded and deposited right at the contact between the solid lithosphere and the atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere. Sedimentary rocks record the history of our planet since almost 4 billion of years and play a pivotal role for our understanding of the evolution of life. This deep-time archive of Earth history is studied with a wide range of analytical techniques providing ever stunning details on the evolution of our planet. Sedimentary basins host important natural resources like coal, gas, oil, ore deposits and groundwater and therefore a better understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes controlling the formation and distribution of sediments and sedimentary rocks is of utmost importance for our society.
Soil System Sciences
Soil is the interface between the crust and atmosphere, and is the basis of life on Earth. The impact of soil science to the society has probably never been as high as it is currently. The importance of soils in the Earth system must make us, the soil scientists, more noticeable at the EGU. The aim of the Division on Soil System Sciences (SSS) is to coordinate the EGU scientific programme on soil science and related activities. The SSS contributes actively with EGU by promoting scientific interchange and dissemination of activity carried out by members.
The Division on Solar-Terrestrial Sciences (ST) considers all aspects of solar and heliospheric physics, specifically the solar-terrestrial connection. It covers the physical processes occurring on the Sun, in the solar wind, as well as in Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere. Solar activity (e.g. coronal mass ejections, solar flares, solar energetic particle events) and the response of the near-Earth space environment to these solar phenomena are studied on a wide-range of temporal and spatial scales. Data analysis and interpretation of space-borne and ground-based data, as well as theoretical studies and different modelling techniques are used to better our understanding of how our local star defines the neighbourhood that we live in.
Tectonics and Structural Geology
The Division on Tectonics and Structural Geology (TS) investigates rock deformation at all scales with the aim to decipher its complex relationships with Earth dynamics. We use natural observations, including mapping, remote sensing and seismics, and experimental methods. The division is highly interdisciplinary, with strong ties with other EGU divisions including GD, EMRP, SM, SSP, GM, G, and GMPV.