Andy Baker distinguished lecturer at University of Texas

Posted 8 April 2016

Prof. Andy Baker (right) receives recognition as distinguished lecturer from the University of Austin.

Professor Andy Baker has returned this week from his visit to the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

There, he was the distinguished lecturer in the DeFord lecture series, delivering the Fred L. and Frances J. Oliver Lectureship in Texas Hydrology and Water Resources in Texas Hydrology and Water Resources.

Entitled Karst and Climate, the presentation considered karst and climate processes that are inter-related across a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. This talk travelled from the paleokarst and paleoclimate of the Permian to the karst water resources and climate of the present day.

Taking a general theme of understanding and modelling water movement in the karst vadose zone, examples were taken from Ethiopia, northern Europe, and Australia. Climate and karst interactions were explored which include: the climate of human migration out of Africa, a karst record of the North Atlantic Oscillation, modelling karst aquifers at the continental scale, and the interesting things that happen when you irrigate a cave in the arid zone.

During his visit, hosted by Prof. Jay Banner, Andy also gave a hydrology ‘brown bag seminar’ on ‘biomarkers in speleothems’. He also ran a half-day workshop on lumped parameter modelling of karst infiltration water and speleothem oxygen isotopes, which used the new Karstolution model developed by UNSW Honours researcher Mukhlis Mah. The workshop was attended by staff and students from UT Austin, as well as staff from the USGS and local aquifer authorities.

Andy also participated in field trips to the Edwards Aquifer, investigating river recharge processes in the aquifer recharge zone, a visit to the Banner group long-term cave hydrochemistry monitoring site at Inner Space Caverns, and the West Cave research site.

Andy will return to UT Austin in May 2017, to attend the conference Climate change: the karst record 8.

Fred L. and Frances J. Oliver Lectureship in Texas Hydrology and Water Resources

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