Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SEN Summer Newsletter

Dear experimentalists,

Wishing plentiful, efficient, and accurate data collection for those of you in the laboratory this summer.

Here is a list of opportunities that you won't want to miss!
  • SEN AGU Grant Competition
  • AGU and GSA Sessions of Interest
  • Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Meetings
  • New Resources

SEN AGU Grant Competition

The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is sponsoring a data-sharing contest for graduate students and early career scientists who feel passionate about making their data public. The top three winners will be awarded travel grants in the amount of $1000 for use towards the 2015 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting.

AGU and GSA sessions of interest

AGU: EP015: Experimental Studies in Surface Processes

Session Description: Physical experiments are a useful tool for studying and simplifying the complex natural systems we seek to understand. Experiments allow us to isolate individual variables ranging from grain scale to landscape scale that are often difficult or impossible to measure in the field. Experiments are often scaled to natural landscapes using system characteristic dimensionless numbers. However, many scientists have been able to reproduce natural phenomena without rigorous dynamical scaling. This session aims to represent experimental studies in surface processes across all temporal and spatial scales. We especially encourage submissions that emphasize improvements on understanding experimental scaling and linking experiments to natural systems and numerical models.

Conveners: Anastasia Piliouras; Kimberly Litwin Miller, John B Shaw, Kyle M Straub

AGU and GSA sessions organized by the EarthCube Outreach team

Recent and Upcoming Workshops and Meetings

Photos from the Mixed Sediment Modelling Workshop

In late May, the workshop on Modelling Mixed-Sediment River Morphodynamics took place in Delft, the Netherlands. See a photo album from the talks and experiments here.

Binghamton Symposium: Laboratory Experiments in Geomorphology

The 46th Annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium will take place on Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20, 2015 in Buffalo, NY, with the theme of Laboratory Experiments in Geomorphology. 

All are encouraged to bring a poster to share their work. Poster abstracts due on August 1.

See the second circular and more information at https://www.ubevents.org/event/bgs46.

New Resources

New experimental data description template

SEN has published a recommended experimental data description template in the paper Data management, sharing, and reuse in experimental geomorphology: Challenges, strategies, and scientific opportunities (2015, Geomorphology, Hsu, Martin, McElroy, Litwin-Miller, Kim). 

We are looking for feedback on the proposed template and any suggestions or comments. sedimentexp@gmail.com

Also check out the other articles in the Special Issue on Laboratory Experiments in Geomorphology.

A new interface to browse sediment dynamics models

Need a model for exploring your sediment-related research question? A large collection of community-contributed surface dynamics models reside in the CSDMS model repository. When was the last time you browsed it?

The EarthCube GeoSoft project has built a new interface that allows you to quickly search and compare CSDMS models.

Read more at New interface to browse sediment dynamics models

New interface to browse sediment dynamics models

Need a model for exploring your sediment-related research question? A large collection of community-contributed surface dynamics models reside in the CSDMS model repository. When was the last time you browsed it?

The EarthCube GeoSoft project has built a new interface that allows you to quickly search and compare CSDMS models. 

For example, you could search on keyword "delta," and choose to compare three models and simultaneously see their description, authors, software language, operating system, and test data. (Note: to see only CSDMS models, make sure to filter by "Publisher = CSDMS".)

GeoSoft's software comparison interface. Blue areas on the pie chart mean more information is filled out.

The site was recently released, and the GeoSoft project welcomes any feedback from the SEN community. How else would you like to search for and learn about models? You can email sedimentexp@gmail.com or the PI of GeoSoft, Yolanda Gil, at gil@isi.edu with any comments. 

GeoSoft is also developing easy methods for investigators to Publish software, using the OntoSoft vocabulary. (If you are very geeky you may enjoy exploring the documentation.)

Related links:
  • GeoSoft Training (Documenting Software, Making Software Executable by Others, etc.)
With the help of projects like GeoSoft, we can all look forward to an easier path to making our scripts and software available for reuse and citation. This means more time for experiments in the lab!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SEN Graduate Student and Early Career AGU Travel Grant Contest

The Sediment Experimentalist Network (SEN) is sponsoring a data-sharing contest for graduate students and early career scientists who feel passionate about making their data public. The top three winners will be awarded travel grants in the amount of $1000 for use towards the 2015 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting.

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 contest will be judged on the quantity and quality of participation in the SEN Knowledge Base (www.sedexp.net), which contains data catalog entries and descriptions of experimental setups, methods, equipment. To begin, create an account on the website and then start creating entries for your experiments. The more entries, the more likely you are to win!


This contest is open to current graduate students and early career scientists (within 5 years of graduating) who are interested in helping make data more accessible.


  1. Sign up for the SEN Newsletter: http://goo.gl/s7dLjb
  2. Create a Knowledge Base account at www.sedexp.net
  3. Start posting entries of your experimental data, set-ups, methods, and equipment.
  4. Send a one-page document to sedimentexp@gmail.com as described below 

Contest Entry

To enter the contest, please send a one-page document containing contact information, short professional biography, and a list of your SEN Knowledge Base entries to sedimentexp@gmail.com.

Selection of Winners

Winners will be selected on the quality (completeness of entry) and quantity (total number of entries) of entries to the SEN Knowledge Base. Winners will be notified via email and will be given instructions on the funding process. Names of winners will also be featured in the upcoming SEN Newsletter. Winners should acknowledge funding from NSF SEN when presenting their work at AGU and attend SEN Townhall Meeting.


June 15th: Contest opens
August 31st: All entries must be received
September 30th: Notification of winners

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Call for Geoscience Papers of the Future

Do you have software or scripts that you developed for an old project, wish you could make it reusable, but aren't sure how to proceed and get proper credit for your effort?

If so, the Geoscience Papers of the Future (GPF) Initiative, part of the GeoSoft project, is a solution!

The GPF effort aims to "get geoscientists to publish papers together with the associated digital products of their research," with targeted training of documentation of software, datasets, workflows, and figures. A special issue of Earth and Space Science, an open access AGU journal, will feature GPFs submitted by January 1, 2016.

For more information contact Yolanda Gil at gil@isi.edu.

The GPF is just one of the things we learned about at the EarthCube All Hands Meeting last week. EarthCube funds the Sediment Experimentalist Network to bring together our community and provide a liaison to the cyberinfrastructure research world.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Streaming talks from the Modelling Mixed-Sediment River Morphodynamics Workshop, 27-29 May

Talks will be streamed from the Workshop on Modelling Mixed-Sediment River Morphodynamics, 27-29 May 2015 in Delft.

See the schedule of talks.
(times listed are Central European Summer Time, or Eastern Daylight Time +6)

Links to join the talks are listed below. When there is a talk streaming, the link will allow you to join by entering your name and email.

Topic: Mixed Sediment Modelling Workshop / SEN Day 1 
Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2015
1. Go to https://earthcube.webex.com/earthcube/j.php?MTID=mb4ec62a458ff470c961eb959488278d6
2. If a password is required, enter the Meeting Password: 73131647

Topic: Mixed Sediment Modelling Workshop / SEN Day 2 
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2015
1. Go to https://earthcube.webex.com/earthcube/j.php?MTID=mebad06962f2f774a6300b8c9d4f1e60d
2. If a password is required, enter the Meeting Password: 73131647

Topic: Mixed Sediment Modelling / SEN Day 3 
Date: Friday, May 29, 2015
1. Go to https://earthcube.webex.com/earthcube/j.php?MTID=mb4c2327b86f50b88d476c64c2d233932
2. If a password is required, enter the Meeting Password: 73131647

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Binghamton Symposium on Experimental Geomorphology, Buffalo NY Sept 2015

The 46th Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium on Laboratory Experiments in Geomorphology will be held at the University at Buffalo, NY, Friday Sept 18 – Sunday September 20, 2015.

Numerous transformative ideas and concepts have emerged from experimental geomorphology which now plays a central role within geomorphic research. This symposium will bring together leading experts and emerging scientists actively engaged in laboratory-based experimental research of geomorphic systems to highlight and discuss the past and future contributions of laboratory experiments. Themes include granular flows; hillslope, fluvial, aeolian, coastal, marine, glacial, landscape, planetary, biophysical and ecogeomorphic processes; as well as data management and facility development.

The Symposium has three main features:
  • Keynote and invited talks by leading researchers covering the conference themes. Papers based on these invited talks are in press in a special issue of the journal Geomorphology.
  • tours of laboratory facilities on the University at Buffalo campus
  • an open poster session throughout the weekend with ample free time for discussion
Speakers include: Gerard Govers (UK Leuven),Chris Paola (Minnesota), Lucy E. Clarke (Gloucestershire), Joanna C. Curran (NW Hydraul. Consultants), Sarah Delavan/Joseph Atkinson (Buffalo), David J. Furbish (Vanderbilt), Alison Graettinger (Buffalo), Fabien Graveleau (Lille), Leslie Hsu (Lamont-Doherty), Neal R. Iverson (Iowa St.), Richard M. Iverson (USGS), Maarten G. Kleinhans (Utrecht), Michael P. Lamb (CalTech), Heidi Nepf (MIT), Luke Pangle (Arizona), Jeff Peakall (Leeds), Keld R. Rasmussen (Aarhus), Elowyn M. Yager (Idaho).

We invite all those engaged in any aspect of experimental geomorphology, and especially graduate students, to present their research facilities, projects and results in the poster session, and to join in lively discussions around the theme of experimental geomorphology.

Details of the BGS46 Symposium can be found on the website:

Also, feel free to contact one of us for further information

Sean Bennett
Cheryl McKenna Neuman
Peter Ashmore

Monday, April 6, 2015

SEN Spring 2015 Newsletter - Experiments around SEN and Opportunities & Events

  • Recent SEN Activities
  • Resources in the SEN Knowledge Base
  • Opportunities and Events

Recent SEN Activities

Live broadcasts and 3-D models from experiments at the University of Wyoming

Over the past couple months, the team at University of Wyoming has been live-broadcasting and archiving videos of their rigid-lid delta experiments. These experiments can be watched in real time, or watched after the fact at the SedimentExp YouTube channel. There's also a 3D model of a resulting delta posted by Robert Mahon on SketchFab, which you can manipulate in your browser.

See links to more information on how to live broadcast and create 3D models in this newsletter!

Sharing papers and experiments

We've been posting links to papers and experiment photos as we learn about them. You can view a feed of shared papers and experiments at https://twitter.com/SedimentExp. (You don't need to be a Twitter user to view the feed.) We need your help to share more, you can always tweet @SedimentExp or email sedimentexp@gmail.com.

Resources in the SEN Knowledge base

Method: Live broadcast using Google Account and YouTube

Wondering how to live broadcast an experiment? Read the write up in the SEN Knowledge base.

Method: Workflow for 3D topography using structure-from-motion in Agisoft

The workflow describes a method for producing 3D image-overlain digital elevation models from photographic imagery using Agisoft PhotoScan Professional.

Data: Onset of Sediment Motion - Nature Communications Paper 2014

See an example of a data catalog entry in the SEN Knowledge base, linked to the dataset published in figshare, and to the original paper.

We are always looking for more content in the SEN Knowledge Base, which holds data, set-up, method, and equipment information, for more information see sedexp.net or ask sedimentexp@gmail.com.

Opportunities & Events:

NCED summer institute

July 27 to August 5, 2015 at Tulane University

The National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics runs the Summer Institute on Earth-surface Dynamics (SIESD), designed to engage young scientists in a focused topic in Earth-surface dynamics. Drawing on NCED’s approach of integrating theory, laboratory experiments, numerical modeling, and fieldwork, this two-week institute combines lectures with practical experiences in the laboratory and the field.

This year's theme maintains our current focus on linking surface processes and subsurface records, but with a new flavor: it is field-centric and will be hosted at Tulane University to take advantage of the unique and fascinating Mississippi River Delta.

Applications due May 15th, http://www.nced.umn.edu/siesd-2015-application
Questions can be sent to Anjali Fernandes at anjalifernandes@gmail.com.

Mixed sediment modelling workshop

27-28-29 May 2015, Delft - The Netherlands

In the workshop we will discuss topics that deal with modelling mixed-sediment fluvial processes, covering a wide range of scales. In setting up the workshop program we have focused on enhancing discussion. To this end we have scheduled a limited number of presentations and plenty time for discussion and poster sessions. We will conduct a/some joint laboratory experiment(s) that will be led by graduate students and postdocs. The focus of the laboratory experiment(s) will be discussed before the workshop. Graduate students and whoever is interested will work with the data and we will discuss the experimental results on the last day of the workshop.

Please send your questions to Astrid Blom or Enrica Viparelli.

EarthCube Early Career Travel Grants


To help promote and disseminate EarthCube activities, and to cultivate the next generation of EarthCube participants, the EarthCube Engagement Team has established Early Career travel grants to provide funds for participation at meetings, workshops or conferences (e.g. professional meetings of AGU, GSA, Ocean Sciences, ESIP, etc.) where EarthCube-related work is to be presented or discussed.

If you are an early career researcher who has participated in SEN activities, or are planning to participate in more SEN activities,  let us know if you have any questions about this travel grant at sedimentexp@gmail.com.