Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Featured New SEN Knowledge Base Entries

Here are some featured new entries to the SEN Knowledge Base:

1) Hydrodynamics at Cape Canaveral shoals - Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Fall 2014 Experiments - Juan F. Paniagua-Arroyave

2) Ensemble Distributions of Particle Motions - Siobhan L. Fathel

3) Data for Experiments on Massive Deposits in Upper Regime - Ricardo R. Hernandez Moreira

4) Steadiness of dilute, particle-laden density currents - Benjamin J. Andrews

5)  Distribution of particle excursion lengths across a wide range of Rouse numbers - Suleyman Naqshband

Post entries to the Knowledge Base at and see your entry featured next month!

Monday, February 13, 2017

SEN at CSDMS annual meeting in May 2017

SEN will be organizing a clinic on the Sediment Experimentalist Network Knowledge Base (SEN-KB) at the upcoming annual meeting of CSDMS (Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System) on May 23-25, 2017 at CU Boulder. As we did at last year's meeting, we will provide an introduction on how to use the SEN-KB resource and the associated SEAD (Sustainable Data Actionable Environment) data sharing platform. Then, like at our recent DataThon, we will be working together to contribute new entries to SEN-KB and to evaluate the usefulness of existing entries. Our activities at CSDMS will follow immediately after the international SEN workshop at Tsukuba University, Japan (May 18-19, 2017), during which participants will be performing a community experiment on a topic of sedimentary interest, which will form the basis for many of our new contributions to SEN-KB. At the CSDMS SEN-KB clinic, we will also briefly discuss ideas for the future of data sharing in the sedimentary research community following the completion in summer 2017 of the NSF Research Coordination Network grant for SEN. If you are interested in attending the CSDMS annual meeting and our SEN-KB clinic, we have funding to support a limit number of attendees. Please email us at for more information.

SEN Datathon a Success!

On Sunday, December 11, 2016, we gathered a group of 11 sediment experimentalists on the campus of UC Berkeley for the first ever SEN DataThon. With the help of coffee and pizza (and Alex Bryk from UC Berkeley!), we spent the afternoon contributing entries to the SEN Knowledge Base (SEN-KB) experimental wiki and the SEAD (Sustainable Data Actionable Environment) data sharing platform. We also discussed ideas for improving the SEN-KB and SEAD resources in the future. Through our combined efforts, we added (or updated) 16 entries on the SEN-KB. We are looking forward to organizing a similar type of DataThon at the upcoming annual meeting of CSDMS (Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System) on May 23-25, 2017 at CU Boulder. If you are interested in attending this event, please see below in the newsletter for more information.

February Experimentalist of the Month: Leonard Sklar

February Experimentalist of the Month:

Leonard Sklar

San Francisco State University

1. How did you first get involved with SEN? I first got involved with SEN when Leslie Hsu asked me to consider serving on the steering committee. I’m glad I said yes! My unique contribution has been to be a test case for getting an old-school, dark-data-generating, non-socially-networked experimentalist to adopt the enlightened data management practices of the 21st century. 

2. What different types of experiments have you worked with? The types of experiments I’ve worked with include: erosion of real and simulated bedrock in flumes, rotating drums, and abrasion mills; gravel and sand bedload sediment transport in flumes of various sizes; channel meander migration in two laboratory basins; particle wear in anular flumes and rotating drums; fine sediment infiltration in gravel beds; gravel bed stabilization by net-spinning caddisfly larvae; and impact erosion of water ice at ultra-low temperatures.

3. What is a favorite memory of yours in the lab? A favorite memory from the lab was the first time we turned on the 4 meter diameter rotating drum when it was filled with as many cobble-sized particles as we thought we could fit in, which turned out to be about 2 tons of them. Our goal was to measure the rate of particle wear across as wide a range of drum sizes as possible, to develop a relationship for scaling particle wear rates from the lab to the field. When we hit the start button we didn’t really know if the wheel would turn, and keep turning without bursting or falling over or suffering some other calamity. But it performed flawlessly, turning at 1 meter per second tangential velocity, creating a deafening roar from the vigorous particle collisions.  As if they were as excited as we were, some particles leapt out of the drum and slammed into the support beam or the floor, showing that we had slightly overestimated the volume capacity of the drum. Looking back on that day, I’m pleased to say that the drum is still standing tall and spinning true, and we achieved our scientific goal, finding that wear rates scale as a power function of the rate of energy expenditure.

4. What do you hope SEN will help the experimental community to achieve? In addition to the excellent goals that SEN was created to achieve, I hope SEN can help the experimental community stand together as one to protect our scientific enterprise from the anti-science rhetoric and policies of the new administration in Washington, and find ways to share with non-scientists our fascinating stories of discovery and the important contributions we make to understanding our world.