Tuesday, March 13, 2018

SEN at CSDMS 2018 Annual Meeting

SEN will be organizing a clinic titled "Wrangling your Research Data" at the upcoming annual meeting of CSDMS (Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System) on May 22-24, 2018 at CU Boulder. As we did for the past two years, we will provide an introduction on how to use the SEN-KB (knowledge base) resource and the associated SEAD (Sustainable Data Actionable Environment) data sharing platform. We will be working together to contribute new entries to SEN-KB and to evaluate the usefulness of existing entries. At the CSDMS SEN-KB clinic, we will also briefly discuss ideas for the future of data sharing in the sedimentary research community. If you are interested in attending the CSDMS annual meeting and our clinic, we have funding to support a limit number of attendees. Please email us at sedimentexp@gmail.com for more information.

New Research Using SEN Data

A new article in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface investigates island formation on deltas.  The article titled "Island Formation Resulting from Radially Symmetric Flow Expansion" authored by John Shaw,  Kimberly Miller, and Brandon McElroy, utilizes new experimental data as well as data published on the SEN Knowledge Base.  More information about the research and its results can be found on John Shaw's Blog:


Experimentalist of the Month: Hajime Naruse

Experimentalist of the Month: 

Hajime Naruse
Kyoto University 

1. How did you first get involved with SEN?

I participated in the first SEN meeting and since then I have been

involved with SEN.

2. What different types of experiments have you worked with?

I have worked with experiments of self-accelerating turbidity

currents, bedforms formed by turbidity currents in Fr-supercritical
condition, grain-fabric formation using rice grains, and inception
process of submarine channel-levee system.

3. What is a favorite memory of yours in the lab?

In 2007, I was working on a self-accelerating turbidity current

experiment with Octavio Sequeiros at the University of Illinois. We
were very excited about the results and continued until 2 AM on the
last day I stayed at UIUC. After that, we resumed the experiment from
3 o'clock in the morning and I left the United States at 5 o'clock in
the morning. In other words, I had an hour to clean up the apartment.

4. What do you hope SEN will help the experimental community to achieve?

I expect SEN to be a portal that makes it easy to refer experimental

data and methodologies as much as possible. I think that SEN's
important mission is to facilitate communications between researchers.
Also, I would be happy if we could share the way to obtain
experimental materials which may be difficult to find, such as special
types of plastic particles.

Friday, February 23, 2018

SEN CSDMS Travel Grant Contest

The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is sponsoring a data-utilization contest for graduate-student and early-career geoscience modelers who feel passionate about advancing science through experimental data sharing and reuse. The top five winners of the data-utilization contest will have all travel and registration costs paid for their participation at the 2018 joint CSDMS (Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System) - SEN annual meeting in Boulder, CO, on May 22-24, 2018.

The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) EarthCube program as a Research Coordination Network (RCN). SEN integrates the efforts of sediment experimentalists to build a knowledge base for data collection and management. The network facilitates cross-institutional collaborative experiments and communicates with the research community about data and metadata guidelines for sediment-based experiments. This effort aims to improve the efficiency and transparency of sedimentary research for field geologists and modelers as well as experimentalists. More information is available here: http://earthcube.org/group/sen

The purpose of this contest is to advance utilization of the SEN Knowledge Base (www.sedexp.net) as a tool for collaboration between modelers and experimentalists toward achieving science goals.  In particular, how can sediment experimental data be utilized to inform, test, and refine models and predictions for earth surface processes and geohazards?  This will be a major goal of this year’s joint CSDMS-SEN annual meeting on “Geoprocesses, geohazards.”

Applicants will be judged primarily on the basis of a brief (1 page max) proposal describing how items in the SEN Knowledge Base can help to answer a science question of interest.  We particularly encourage contest entrants to try to track down data and existing experimental facilities and their capabilities listed on the SEN Knowledge Base.  If data can be found, we encourage descriptions of preliminary analyses in the proposal.  If data cannot be found or are difficult to use, please explain the problems you encountered and ways these problems might be addressed in future development of the SEN Knowledge Base.  If data do not exist but potential experimental collaborators can be found, please describe a collaborative project that can be coordinated through SEN. (Please note that we will be highlighting the proposals of successful applications during the CSDMS / SEN meeting.)

This contest is open to current graduate students and early career scientists (within 5 years of graduating) who are interested in advancing science through data sharing and reuse.

  1. If you have not already, sign up for the SEN Newsletter: Monthly SEN News
  2. If you have not already, create a Knowledge Base account at www.sedexp.net
  3. Start browsing entries containing experimental data, set-ups, methods, and equipment relevant to your science question.
  4. Think of an earth-surface science and/or geohazard question to be answered using experimental data and/or new collaborations with experimentalists and prepare your proposal as described above.
  5. Prepare an abstract for the SEN / CSDMS that mentions your proposed data utilization idea, and include this in your presentation at the meeting.  The data utilization idea does not need to be a central feature of your CSDMS presentation, but it should be included.
  6. Write a brief (one paragraph) professional biography.
  7. Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2018.  When registering for the CSDMS meeting, be sure to check the box to indicate that you are applying for the SEN / CSDMS travel grant.  Then, send your application materials (proposal, professional biography) to sedimentexp@gmail.com by March 15, 2018.

Selection of Winners
Winners will be selected on the following criteria:
  1. Originality of proposal.
  2. Depth of engagement with the SEN Knowledge Base.
  3. Applicability of proposal to planned presentation at CSDMS.
  4. Feasibility of proposal and qualifications of applicant toward proposed idea.
Winners will be notified via email and will be given instructions on the funding process. Names of winners will also be featured in the SEN Newsletter. Winners should acknowledge funding from NSF SEN when presenting their work at the CSDMS meeting.

~Feb 22nd: Contest opens
Deadline Extended! March 29: Deadline for CSDMS abstract submission, registration, and SEN travel grant application
April 1st: Notification of winners
May 22-24: CSDMS meeting (Boulder, Colorado)

Questions? Please contact SEN at sedimentexp@gmail.com.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Featured Knowledge Base Entries: December 2017

Here are some featured recent entries to the SEN Knowledge Base (www.sedexp.net):

1) Data:  Tulane Delta Basin Series, Y Wang, L Yu, Q Li, and K Straub

2) Method: Titan Experiment for Influence of Ice Composition on Tensile Strength and Erosion Rates on Titan, K Litwin Miller

Post entries to the Knowledge Base at www.sedexp.net and see your entry featured next time!

SEN at AGU 2017 Fall Meeting

If you are attending the AGU 2017 Fall Meeting, here are some SEN-related events you should check out:

  • EarthCube Town Hall (Wednesday, December 13)
  • Experimental Session: Physical Experiments of Earth Surface Processes: Novel Results and Advances in Methods, Instrumentation, and Data Handling (Friday, December 15)
  • EarthCube booth located in exhibit hall booth 1633

Look forward to seeing you all in the Big Easy!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

October Experimentalist of the Month: David Furbish

October Experimentalist of the Month: 

David Furbish
Professor, Vanderbilt University

1. How did you first get involved with SEN? 

Siobhan Fathel first convinced me to pay attention to SEN, based on her conversations with Raleigh Martin regarding the objectives of SEN and the significance of archiving experimental data in a manner that makes the data readily available to other researchers. Indeed, Siobhan’s data based on high-speed imaging of bed load sediment motions are available on the SEN website, and they have been used by others. 

2. What different types of experiments have you worked with? 

  • Visualization and measurement of the deformation and response of artificial tree roots during soil shear 
  • The development of flow instabilities (flow fingering) during water infiltration into soils 
  • Visualization and flow velocity measurements of fluid circulation within an experimental tidally driven Hele-Shaw cell 
  • High-speed imaging and analysis of particle motions and transport due to rain drop impacts 
  • High-speed imaging and analysis of bed load particle motions and transport within a turbulent shear flow 
  • Measurements of particle ravel and travel distances on the surface of a large laboratory-scale “hillslope” 

3. What is a favorite memory of yours in the lab? 

Holy Moly this is not a fair question! I have no favorite memory of being in the lab! I have a gazillion memories of delightful stuff happening in a lab! OK... so you need highlights. Here are some... 

To do the Hele-Shaw experiments we mixed zinc-coated micro-balloon tracer particles within glycerin, and projected a laser sheet upward into the narrow Hele-Shaw cell. The laser illuminated the tracer particles. The lab had to be entirely dark to do the high-speed and time-lapse imaging. The first time we turned off the lights and saw the tracer particles doing their lovely dances in the cell was, like, wow! We referred to their sparkly light show as Starry Starry Night! 

Our first set of experiments dropping water drops on sand targets typically involved dropping many tens of drops before one landed precisely on the target. This meant that, for the many not-quite-right drop impacts, we had to reconfigure the target and reset the highspeed imaging system. When we finally got to watch the replay of the first successful impact, and saw in the slow motion the amazing fluid-particle and particle-particle interactions during impact together with the arched trajectories of the splashed particles — all occurring within less than one tenth of one second in real time — well, we were all quite amazed and delighted! 

During our recent experiments involving high-speed imaging of bed load particles, I was the “official” photographer of activities and events. This really meant that I got to watch Kate Potter Leary, Siobhan Fathel and Mark Schmeeckle do their carefully choreographed tasks of preparing the flume sediment, setting up the dual cameras and high-intensity strobe lighting, adjusting the laser sheet (that was my task), setting the flow, acquiring the images, and taking flow velocity measurements. All steps had to be just right. So one can imagine that the several-days effort was an important lesson in patience. And by the end of the experiments, we were really good at it! (Oh... and we all got to wear cool protect-or-eyesfrom-the-laser goggles! They made us look like real scientists. :-) 

4. What do you hope SEN will help the experimental community to achieve?  

I would hope SEN activities open opportunities to grow community interest in developing and using novel and perhaps unusual experimental approaches and techniques, and methods of data processing and analysis... things we have not yet seen or thought about. This could also include instrumentation that currently is beyond the budget of an individual investigator, but manageable with a group of investigators pursuing shared ideas. (For example, I sure would like to have the opportunity to play with an ultra high frame-rate camera without loss of resolution in order to examine certain aspects of sediment particle motions.)