American Geophysical Union meeting (AGU Fall Meeting) is back. This year the conferences will be held online from 1 to 17 of December.

AGU20 is scheduled over a thousand hours of virtual content to minimize conflicts while maximizing global engagement. Scientific program content will be available on-demand, with pre-recorded oral presentations and virtual posters available for attendees to view and peruse outside of the scheduled live Q&A sessions during the meeting.

Ramon Carbonell and Juan Alcalde, both researchers at GEO3BCN-CSIC, are part of the editorial team that is preparing a special issue for the journal Solid Earth that seeks to provide a wide-ranging panorama of the mineral exploration. This volume is expected to bring together a number of articles aimed at exploring the current state and future prospects of mineral exploration, from different perspectives such as remote sensing, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, modelling, mineralogy and structural geology.

Ajay Kumar successfully defended his Ph. D. thesis online last 24 November. The thesis, entitled "Thermal and chemical imaging of the upper mantle anomalies: application to Western Mediterranean" has been directed by Manel Fernández and Jaume Vergés, both researchers at Geosciences Barcelona and has been tutored by Juan José Ledo Fernández from University of Barcelona. Kumar’s work was focused on characterizing the thermal and chemical structure of the upper mantle (upto 400 km depth) beneath Alboran and Algerian basins using gravity, elevation, mantle xenoliths and seismic tomography.

C' shear bands are a common feature in nature and they are widely used as kinematic indicators to study deformation processes of rocks in the deep parts of the Earth's crust. However, there is little consensus about how they form. Now, using numerical simulations, a new study has been able to determine how shear bands form and develop in rocks composed of more than one mineral. Melanie Finch, researcher at Monash University (Australia), is the first author of a study published in the Journal of Structural Geology. María Gema Llorens, researcher at GEO3BCN-CSIC has participated in this study.

Geosciences Barcelona has expanded its catalogue of scientific equipment acquiring a new tabletop electronic microscope (Hitachi TM4000PLUSII). This new device enables researchers to observe rock samples and it can also be used to image a wide range of organic and inorganic materials.

North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is the major atmospheric mode that controls winter European climate variability. Its strength and phase determine regional temperatures, precipitation and storm tracks in this part of the planet and around a large part of the northern hemisphere. Understanding its past evolution is crucial to contextualise their present and future behaviour. Now, a new study has identified some of the limitations of based proxy reconstructions of this and other modes of climate variability that show their evolution though the Holocene (last 11.700 years). Santiago Giralt, researcher at GEO3BCN, has participated in this study whose first author is Armand Hernandez, postdoctoral researcher at GEO3BCN-CSIC between the years of 2017 to 2019. The study has been recently published in Earths Sciences-Reviews journal.

The call for applications for the Training of University Professors grants (FPU 2020) awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Universities is now open. In the framework of this call, GEO3BCN-CSIC researchers offer two PhD research proposals.

María Jose Jurado, researcher at Geosciences Barcelona-CSIC (GEO3BCN-CSIC), has been nominated for the EIT Innovation Award 2020 for her work on INNOLOG project. Jurado is the PI and coordinator of the project that started in 2017 aimed to develop more efficient and sustainable solutions for the mineral exploration. María José Jurado is one of the 4 nominees representing the "Raw materials" community in the EIT 2020 Awards.

The demand for mineral resources to meet current societal needs has been steadily increasing over last years. Mineral exploration, the first step of the raw materials cycle, is facing a great challenge because the shallow and easily accessible mineral deposits have already been mined. The industry now needs access to deeper and more complex mineral systems. To address this challenge, more efficient, effective and sustainable exploration tools are needed. The SIT4ME project team organized a workshop aimed to showcase and discuss a broad view of the new approaches in the mineral exploration world.

Maria Gema Llorens, Juan de la Cierva researcher at Geosciences Barcelona - CSIC (GEO3BCN-CSIC), is one of the guest editors of the special issue entitled 'Crystal Deformation' run by the journal Crystals, along with Brahmananda Pramanik, Ph.D., P.E. from Montana Tech. This issue aims to gather results from current investigations over deformation phenomena of crystals and crystalline materials based on experimental and numerical modelling.

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