Archean Environment: the habitat of early life

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Analysing the Archean


Short course, Utrecht, The Netherlands

28 June - 1 July 2010



An introduction will be given to methods that are commonly used to understand the formation of volcanic and sedimentary rocks, the composition of the ocean and atmosphere and the conditions that reigned at the surface of the Archean Earth.

The course is aimed at students at the MSc and PhD level, as well as postdocs and junior scientists.

A mix of lectures, discussion and practical sessions from invited speakers will introduce the following methodologies:

- field techniques
- petrology and textures of volcanic and sedimentary rocks
- structure and tectonics
- geochemical techniques
- geochemical data analysis
- micropalaeontology

Discussion sessions will concentrate on key controversial areas:
1. Oxygenation of the atmosphere and evolution of the biosphere
2. Temperature of the early Earth, faint young sun paradox
3. Crustal growth rates and models
4. Style of tectonics in the Archean



General Information


 Venue and accommodation

The course will be at the Woudschoten Conference center ( ) which is close to Utrecht and within easy reach of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Woudschoten is beautifully located on a 45-hectare estate and has 140 comfortable hotel rooms, with wifi access. Full catering is included, twin rooms for students to share and single rooms are available in the residences.



Official Diner

Wednesday 30 June 2010, St. Michael's Chapel of the Dom Tower in Utrecht. The Dom Tower is the tallest church tower in the Netherlands (112 m / 369 ft). During a guided tour you have a magnificent panoramic view of the city of Utrecht and its surroundings.


Preference will be given to participants from member countries of the ArchEnviron program. Conference costs, food and accommodation will be covered by ESF. Travel costs will be covered as far as possible but a contribution may be required from each individual participant.


Number of participants

Maximum of 30 PhDs, MSc students, postdocs and junior scientists. ECTS may be available (more details to follow).


Pre-registration & Deadline

Please pre-register with the online registration form. You must include a short motivation letter and CV.

Deadline pre-registration: April 15, 2010

Definitive registration will be confirmed at the end of April

Contact information


Nicholas Arndt

Laboratoire de Géodynamique des Chaînes Alpines
1381 rue de la Piscine
38401 St Martin d’Hères



Michael Bau

Earth and Space Sciences Program
School of Engineering and Science
Jacobs University Bremen
28759 Bremen


Paul Mason

Institute of Earth Sciences
Utrecht University
Budapestlaan 17
3584 CD Utrecht