Symposium Themes

The following Themes have been chosen for the IASWS 2008 Conference:

Potential Topics include:


A. Processes at the Sediment-Water Interface

Our ability to manage aquatic ecosystems is reliant on understanding small-scale processes, particularly mass exchange across the sediment-water interface, and the interaction between ecological components. This Theme aims to highlight recent progress in our understanding of these processes.

Potential session topics include:

• Microscale processes: particulates and freshwater/marine ecology-light, biology and physics, spatial variability and scale-up;

• Interface characteristics: sediment structure, physics, biology and geochemistry, benthic-pelagic coupling, heterogeneity and scale-up;

• Sediment and benthic photosynthesis: algal mats, biofilms and seagrasses;

• Sediment microbiology: characterization and functionality, nutrient and pollutant cycling in sediments.


B. Disturbance, Remediation and Management of Sediment-Water Systems

Many of our aquatic and marine ecosystems have experienced disturbance on a massive scale. Remediation and management is now being required at a system or catchments’ scale. This Theme aims to explore our progress in understanding the impact of disturbance and our ability to manage that impact.

Potential session topics include:

• Impact of extreme events on sediment: sediment transport, tsunamis, hurricanes, flash floods;

• Catchments’ processes: hydrology, biogeochemistry, land use and management

• Impact of climate change: hydrology, sediment-water interactions and aquatic/marine ecology

• Restoration of freshwater and marine systems: European Water Framework Directive and National Action Plans.


C. Linkages Between Terrestrial, Aquatic and Marine Systems

Fluxes of sediment and water link terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and provide conduits for the transfer of nutrients and other pollutants. This Theme aims to highlight recent descriptions of the processes that define these linkages and the resulting impacts.

Potential session topics include:

• Riparian zone and groundwater discharge zone dynamics: hydrology and biogeochemistry, hyporheic exchanges of sediment and water, variable inundation and its impact on biogeochemistry;

• Extreme sediments: Acid sulphate soils, processes and management, hydrocarbons and sediment, oil, gas and gas hydrates, sediments of anoxic environments;

• Coupling of sediment type and pollutants: Alteration of sediment characteristics under the influence of pollutants, fate of particulate phase contaminants, organic contaminants, radionuclides;

• Ecological connectivity: terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems; particle, carbon and nutrient fluxes; intermittent connectivity and lag timescales.


The following international authorities in the field of sediment-water interactions have accepted invitations to be keynote speakers at this Symposium:

Prof. Thomas Bianchi (Texas A&M University, USA)

Prof. Stefan Peiffer (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Prof. Peter Davies (The University of Western Australia, Australia)