ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

AGU, Day 1

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I’m sitting in Moscone West. As Apple aficionado, this is right where Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference used to be! 😉

Moscone Center, San Francisco

Moscone Center, San Francisco

Day 1 of 5 is almost over. I’ve been to a few talks, I’ve been to a few posters. I’ve never been to a conference of a comparable size, so I am a little overwhelmed. The online calendar was really helpful. Scientifically, what was interesting?

  • I saw C. Meirovitz’s poster on modelling alluvial fans with TPROGS. He’s trying to use borehole-log data to model hydro-facies in space. Channels that deposited gravel up to bolder size form preferential flow paths, and the simulation of those continuous features is not a trivial task; however, it is important because those are the pathways critical for non-linear processes such as solute transport. Very much related to my own work!
  • I have never spent much time learning about fractals, but the concept of “self similarity” popped up at least twice today. Once in F. Schwartz’s talk on modelling prairie potholes, where he uses tho model the size of potholes in simulation by using two parameters (length and water-hight, if I remember correctly), and once in S. Neuman’s talk.
  • Using insane amounts of data seems to become quite standard.
  • Why are people so crazy about linear regression? And why do people who call themselves scientists refer to what they’re doing as linear regression, if both of their axes are log-scale? Similarly, I’ve seen at least two people who plot some measurement against some measure of scale. For small scales there are a lot of measurements, for large scales there are few measurements. Their argumentation is that measurements on the larger scale result in an average measurement. I am not 100% sure on this. It might also be that there simply are not many measurements on a larger scale, temporal or spatial.
  • I saw a map of accumulated daily precipitation intensities, that is accumulated at a given location over a year, then spatially interpolated. That seems like a neat idea. Probably also for temperatures.
  • This is nothing new, but well presented presentations are just so much better. 🙂

Now I’m off to the “frontiers of geophysics” lecture!

Written by Claus

December 15th, 2009 at 2:53 am

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