Past Lectures 2018

The ‘Freiberg Colloquium’ is a series of lectures of the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, of the Saxon Mining Authority, of the Geokompetenzzentrum Freiberg. e.V., of the Saxon State Archives/Mining Archives, of the Technical University of Freiberg and of the terra mineralia.

Thursday, 25 January 2018, 7.30 pm

Life in the Endless Ice – A Wintering Report

Dr Sissy Kütter, geophysicist, Gotha
160th Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

Every year just before Christmas, nine new technicians and scientists set out for Neumayer-Station III in Antarctica to relieve their predecessors and look after the station for the coming winter. Over the Antarctic summer from the end of November to the middle of February, the Neumayer-Station, at this stage housing around 50 scientists and technicians, is a hive of activity and the base for numerous projects. Then, when the last aeroplanes have set off on their journeys towards the warm north by the end of February, things get calmer but by no means less exciting. It’s at this point that the stormy season starts, the days get shorter, the temperature falls from a summery -5 to as low as -50°C, and all around the shelf ice several hundred metres thick the sea ice begins to extend. The polar night, during which the sun ceases to rise above the horizon at NMIII for more than 50 days, is also the time of starlit skies, polar lights and the breeding season for Emperor Penguins. Living and working in this setting is a unique experience and forms the subject of this lecture.

Thursday, 1 March 2018, 7.30 pm

291-Million-Year-old Ground: Habitat and Climate Record of
the Chemnitz Fossil Deposits

Prof. Ronny Rößler, Museum für Naturkunde, Chemnitz
161st Freiberg Colloquium, venue: Lecture hall terra mineralia, Freudenstein Castle

The petrified forest of Chemnitz is also called the "Pompeii of the Permian". 291 million years ago, a very explosive volcanic eruption took place there. Under the ember ash cloud not only a spectacular fossil deposit has been preserved, but an entire ecosystem of plants and animals and their interactions has been conserved on the spot. Spectacular finds tell about the life and death of a tropical oasis, about the destructive power and conservation of volcanic activity. A paleo-ground of the ancient forest ecosystem plays a key role in the analysis and research of the fossil deposit. In a cave a few centimeters below the earth's surface in the tree root network even impressions of scorpions were found. In one case, a male and a female specimen in close spatial relationship. The coronation of indiscretion is shown in the lecture.

The speaker is director of the Museum of Natural History in Chemnitz, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ronny Rößler. Prof. Rößler is Visiting Professor of Paleobotany at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg.

Reconstruction of the habitat with a prehistoric scorpion © Dr. Frederik Spindler, Freiberg