COT at the XXI INQUA 2023 Congress, Rome, Italy (14th – 20th July)

COT at the XXI INQUA 2023 Congress, Rome, Italy (14th – 20th July)
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As with the last major gathering of CoT members (IAVCEI, Rotorua, January 2023) – the XXI International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) ‘Time for Change’ congress coincided with extreme weather conditions – Rome baked in temperatures of 40 °C +, yet despite the temperatures we saw the successful running of the congress hosted by Sapienza University of Rome.

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Despite the warm conditions the official INQUA mammoth was still in attendance at Sapienza. Photo: P. Albert.


CoT formerly INQUA’s – International Focus Group On Tephrochronology And Volcanism (INTAV) – retains strong links within the INQUA community, and this was reflected by a extremely well attended Tephrochronology session held at the congress. INQUA session 72 entitled: The role of Tephrochronology in the study of Earth system dynamics during the Quaternary: Event timings, duration and frequencies, was co-convened by Biagio Giaccio (CNR, Roma), Paul Albert (Swansea University), Sabine Wulf (University of Portsmouth) and Giovanni Zanchetta (Università di Pisa).

The session comprised of 14 oral presentations, and 16 poster presentations, and spanned spanned Wednesday 19 July and Thursday 20 July.


Wednesday’s activities began with a posters session, followed by the first 7 oral presentations in the late afternoon, Christine Lane (Cambridge University) opened proceedings with a key note talk focused on the tephrostratigraphy of the DeepCHALLA sediment record taken on the Tanzania/Kenya border.

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Left to right, Jenni Hopkins, Polina Vakhrameeva and Daniela Müller presenting their posters in the first instalment of the tephrochronology posters. Photos. S. Davies.

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Late afternoon talks: Paul Albert (left) on using cryptotephra to examine eruption under reporting in East Asia (Photo: D. McLean) and Bianca Scateni examining the most recent activity at the nearby Alban Hills volcanic complex (Photo: P. Albert).

An informal networking – social – was held on the evening of the 19th at the nearby ‘Apartment‘ bar, bringing together CoT members with those of the VICS (Volcanic Impacts on Climate and Society) community, who had also held a INQUA session on the Wednesday afternoon.


The oral presentations continued early on Thursday 20 July with a further 7 talks, and these were followed shortly afterwards by another poster session (below). The quality of the research presented within the session was excellent, particularly impressive was the high number and quality of the contributions made by the ECRs.

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Early morning talks from PhD student Hannah Wynton focusing on East African Rift derived cryptotephra deposits preserved in lake sediments (left), which was immediately followed by Victoria Smith (right) focusing on explosive eruptions at Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy. Photos: Danielle McLean.

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Left to right, Rengin Özsoy, Gill Plunkett, and Takehiko Suzuki presenting their posters in the second and final instalment of the tephrochronology session. Photos: Siwan Davies.

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