Special Sessions

Click on each session to learn more about its scope in relation to Conference Tracks.

Special Session (Track 14): The 8 September 2023 Earthquake of Morocco (Mw 6.8)

About the session

Since the 8 September 2023 earthquake in the Moroccan province of Al Haouz, which claimed 300 lives, seismologists, geologists, and geophysicists have been enquiring about the earthquake's cause. This is mostly because the earthquake occurred in an area previously regarded to be a weak seismic zone. The Richter scale's 6.8 magnitude surprised experts.

This session provides an opportunity to initiate a scientific debate to try to understand the origins and implications of earthquakes in Morocco in general, and specifically the one on September 8, 2023.

The following are some of the themes of this special session that you might find interesting:

  • Structural geology of the High Atlas
  • Geodynamics of the High Atlas
  • Atlas orogeny
  • Geophysics in the High Atlas
  • Geodesy in the High Atlas
  • GPS station and topography in the High Atlas
  • Geomatics and remote sensing in the High Atlas
  • History of earthquakes in Morocco
  • Modeling the impact of earthquakes
  • Artificial intelligence and earthquakes


  • Hassan Ibouh

    Hassan Ibouh

    Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
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  • Mustapha Meghraoui

    Mustapha Meghraoui

    ITES (CNRS - UMR7063), Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
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Special Session (Track 15): Sustainable Mining, Circular Economy, and Mine Rehabilitation

About the session

Mining plays a crucial role in shaping national economies by contributing to infrastructure development and resource extraction. However, the mining sector currently holds the position of being the largest global producer of solid waste. Existing waste management practices in mining predominantly follow a linear system, involving storage and landfilling. There is a growing imperative for more efficient and sustainable methods to manage extractive mine wastes. Simultaneously, these wastes present an opportunity as potential future sources for high-value and critical metals and minerals. Moreover, repurposing mine waste as alternative materials in construction helps meet the increasing demand for construction materials. Additionally, considering the undeniable environmental impacts associated with mining, there is an urgent need for a robust approach to mine rehabilitation and reclamation.

Key topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Latest available technical and environmental solutions to efficiently manage both types of wastes; treatment and processing before disposal
  • High value elements recovery from industrial and mining wastes; towards defining effective, low cost and ecofriendly methods
  • Recycling of industrial and mining wastes as alternative resources in different sectors
  • Circular economy and life cycle assessment
  • Innovative technologies in mine rehabilitation
  • Ecological restoration techniques
  • Community engagement and social responsibility
  • Legal and regulatory frameworks:
  • Case Studies of successful mine rehabilitation
  • Challenges in mine rehabilitation
  • Monitoring and evaluation of rehabilitation projects


  • Mostafa Benzaazoua

    Mostafa Benzaazoua

    Director of the Geology & Sustainable Mining Institute (GSMI)
    Green Energy Park (GEP), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Benguerir, Morocco
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  • Rachid Hakkou

    Rachid Hakkou

    IMED-Lab, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco & Geology and Sustainable Mining Institute, Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Benguerir, Morocco
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Special Session (Track 16): Latest Advances in Geology and Geophysics to Address Environmental Challenges

About the session

Depending on your research interests, this special session aims at providing a forum to discuss innovative strategies and approaches to environmental studies in geosciences more broadly. A comprehensive approach is necessary for these studies, encompassing a variety of fields and expertise to understand the environmental interactions between the Earth, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans. The efficiency of tools and concepts used in environmental studies of water sciences, geoengineering, applied geophysics, and environmental geology will be examined.

The session will provide an overview of recent developments in the field of environmental studies and earth sciences. It will feature presentations on new research findings. An open debate with participants will identify ways to promote research in this field. Topics of interest may include, but are not limited to, research works from the following fields:

  • Applied geophysics
  • Mining exploration
  • Hydrogeophysics
  • Soil health studies
  • Remote sensing and drone imagery
  • Geoscience databases for improved adaptation and mitigation decision making


  • José Antonio Peña

    José Antonio Peña

    Instituto Universitario Andaluz de Geofísica (Andalusian Institut of Geophysics), Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
    Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología (Department of Prehistory and Archaeology), Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • Mohammed Jaffal

    Mohammed Jaffal

    Georessources, Geoenvironment and Civil Engineering Laboratory, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco
    Geology and Sustainable Mining Institute (GSMI), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Benguerir, Morocco
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  • Azzouz Kchikach

    Azzouz Kchikach

    Georessources, Geoenvironment and Civil Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco & Geology and Sustainable Mining Institute (GSMI), Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Benguerir, Morocco
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Special Session (Track 17): Salinity in Arid Ecosystems (“Salinité dans les écosystèmes arides”)

About the session

Worldwide, arid ecosystems increasingly face new challenges. Climate change, manifested amongst other things by an increase in droughts and lack of precipitation, combined with water (re-)allocations, poses great challenges to preserving water bodies, particular species, local livelihoods, and populations. More particularly, the salinization of water and land resources is increasingly becoming a major problem. The salinization of water bodies in such arid regions exacerbates the problem of water shortages, as salinized water becomes unusable for irrigation and drinking water purposes and puts new challenges to the habitat of many animals.

In light of these transformations, this special session aims to explore how arid ecosystems are changing from an interdisciplinary perspective and what it means for nature/biodiversity, local populations, and their livelihoods. It also aims to explore innovative solutions for sustainable development.

The special session aims to explore the following topics:

  • Understanding the effects of salinity on plant and animal life
  • Identifying key indicators of ecological health in saline-prone environments
  • Climate change and salinity dynamics
  • Case studies showcasing successful implementation of salinity control measures
  • What do these changes mean for local populations?
  • How do local populations deal with such transformations and adapt to them?
  • Innovations in soil and water management to mitigate salinity
  • Policy challenges and solutions for more effective water management
  • Developing future scenarios and adaptive strategies to climate-induced salinity changes
  • Innovative solutions for salinity management in agriculture
  • Ecological impact of salinity
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Livelihood resilience


  • Mohamed Naimi

    Mohamed Naimi

    Polydisciplinary Faculty, Sultan Moulay Slimane University, Beni Mellal, Morocco
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  • Lisa Bossenbroek

    Lisa Bossenbroek

    iES Landau, Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany
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Special Session (Track 18): Towards New Models/Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

About the session

The veracity of climate change is unequivocal. The increasing rates of vulnerability of peripheral economies or the global south in general to climate shock is alarming.Across the globe in general and in Africa in particular as well as in the MENA region, reports of the devasting effects of climate shocks such as droughts, floods, sandstorms inter alia have dominated the air waves. The ramifications of these have been food crisis, forest fires, heat waves, floods, and the proliferation of diseases. This special session aims at providing a forum to discuss innovative strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation across ecosystems. Topic of interest may include but not limited to:

  • New ways of monitoring adaptation and mitigation readiness, progress, and performance
  • Integrating participatory action research and alliances for effective adaptation and mitigation
  • Deep dives into the status and categories of climate change adaptation and mitigation
  • Multi-level adaptation and mitigation to deal with multi-level climate stressors
  • Adaptation and mitigation financing for environmental integration
  • The discrepancies between adaptation and mitigation asprocesses and actions
  • Technological and methodological changes required to trigger effective adaptation and mitigation
  • New databases for improved adaptation and mitigation decision making


  • Terence Epule

    Terence Epule

    Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Canada
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Special Session (Track 19): Biobased Materials for Environmental Applications

About the session

As the demand for sustainable solutions continues to surge, the need to cultivate environmentally friendly products and biobased materials becomes more apparent. These imperative addresses a range of issues that explore the development, utilization, and environmental impact of materials derived from biomass and renewable resources. In line with this, our upcoming special session, titled "Special Session on Biobased Materials for Environmental Applications," seeks to unravel the intricacies of this burgeoning field. Through insightful discussions and shared expertise, we aim to explore key topics, including innovative development processes, practical applications, and the broader ecological footprint of biobased materials.

Building upon the foundation of sustainability and the escalating demand for biobased solutions, our special session is poised to delve into a carefully curated selection of pivotal topics that closely align with the overarching theme. Our exploration encompasses:

  1. Characteristics and Added Values: Delving into the distinctive features and enhanced qualities of biobased materials.
  2. Sustainable Agricultural Systems: Investigating diverse sources of biobased materials, such as plants, algae, and bacteria, and their role in fostering sustainable agricultural practices.
  3. Biodegradability and Compostability: Assessing the significance of biodegradability and compostability in effective waste management strategies.
  4. Environmental Impact and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Scrutinizing the environmental repercussions of biobased materials and utilizing Life Cycle Assessment to measure their holistic impact.
  5. Extraction and Processing Technologies: Exploring cutting-edge technologies for the extraction and processing of biobased feedstocks.
  6. Manufacturing Challenges and Innovations: Addressing challenges and showcasing innovations in the manufacturing processes of biobased materials.
  7. Biobased Materials in Packaging: Unveiling the applications of biobased materials in packaging solutions.
  8. Construction Materials and Alternatives: Examining biobased alternatives in construction materials, including textiles, bioplastics, and other consumer goods.
  9. Pollutant Removal from the Environment: Investigating the use of biobased materials for the removal of pollutants from the environment, emphasizing their potential role in environmental remediation.
  10. Compliance with Environmental Regulations: Navigating the landscape of environmental regulations and international standards governing sustainable materials.
  11. Contribution to a Circular Economy: Assessing the environmental impact and benefits, emphasizing the role of biobased materials in contributing to a circular economy.
  12. Emerging Technologies and Interdisciplinary Research: Showcasing the latest developments in biobased material research and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration to drive innovation.


  • Achraf Ghorbal

    Achraf Ghorbal

    Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Gabes, University of Gabes, Gabes, Tunisia
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  • Walid Elfalleh

    Walid Elfalleh

    Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology of Gabes, University of Gabes, Gabes, Tunisia
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Special Session (Track 20): Anthropocene: The Human Impact on the Global Environment and the Functioning of the Earth System

About the session

The term Anthropocene is very broad and is commonly used to refer to "the era of humans," in which the anthroposphere, along with the biosphere and geosphere, has become an important part of the Earth system, including linkages, couplings, and feedback among physical, chemical, biological, and social dimensions of Earth systems. In recent decades, the environmental humanities have highlighted the importance of complementary knowledge, which combines natural sciences and traditional ecological knowledge with humanities and social sciences and have pointed to the need for a social transformation and the construction of an inclusive and participatory "ecological democracy." With an ongoing focus on adaptation, sustainability, advancement, and protection, this track will review the state of the art of research and innovative studies on the significance of human activities in altering Earth's landscapes, oceans, atmosphere, cryosphere, and ecosystems.

Topic of interest may include but not limited to:

  1. Biogeoarchives of sediments as analogous for the modern climate change.
  2. Geohazards linked to exploitation of earth resources (ex. Petroleum production, mining, rock failures)
  3. Factors shaping the water cycle (hydrological cycle) and the circulation of elements in nature.
  4. Critical zone of the Earth and other celestial objects (soils, clay minerals).
  5. Environment monitoring and the impact of land use change on the environment.
  6. The social and economic impact of environmental change (including climate change).
  7. Comparative planetary science with a focus on Earth-like objects (e.g., Mars)
  8. Rational use of raw materials and energy in accordance with the principles of sustainable development and circular economy (closed circuit), law and circular economy, as well as and technologies of the future.
  9. Waste in raw materials policy and implementation of circular economy.
  10. Environmental pollution and human health (e.g., availability and quality of drinking water, air purity, noise pollution).
  11. Migration flows at a time of global change, legal aspects of migration and asylum-seeking.
  12. Astrobiology and space medicine.
  13. Legal regulations of the use of the outer space and its resources.
  14. Climate change and adaptation to climate change, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, food security and the pro-climate social practices of organisations, institutions, and social movements.
  15. Globalisation and Europeanisation, including international trade and investment, global health and safety threats: international health regulations, law harmonisation processes.
  16. Law and advancement of science, transfer of knowledge and know-how
  17. Political, social, migration crises, armed conflicts
  18. Pandemics
  19. Ecological catastrophes
  20. Natural catastrophes


  • Ahmed E. Radwan

    Ahmed E. Radwan

    Institute of Geological Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
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Special Session (Track 21): Geo-resources in the Afro-Mediterranean Region

About the session

This session will gather studies from the Mediterranean perimeter and the latest geosciences studies performed on North African Mountain belts and Sedimentary Basins. The session will be particularly dedicated to present valuable work that cover areas of Structural Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics and Subsurface Resources Exploration and Exploitation in the Mediterranean and North African region. In particular, a special attention will be inclined to studies focusing on (but not limited to) Tectonics, magmatism and/or structural control on Subsurface Resources prospectivity. Furthermore, the congregated new studies in this session will induce the interest of researchers to the fast-growing demands of exploring various Earth’s subsurface resources, especially in the wealthy ground of the African continent. It will also be a constructive mean to share the local and regional scientists’ new discoveries and knowledge of the region with broader potential interested participants.


  • Khalid Amrouch

    Khalid Amrouch

    1. Associate Professor at GSMI, UM6P. Benguerir, Morocco
    2. Adj. Associate Professor at SET, Uni. of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
    3. Associate Editor at AJGS (Springer) and Geosciences (MDPI)
    scopus preview

  • Abderrahmane Soulaimani

    Abderrahmane Soulaimani

    Department of Geology, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco
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Special Session (Track 22): Advancements in Nanomaterials for Energy and Environmental Applications

About the session

Nanoscience and nanotechnology bring together scientists, engineers, and researchers with diverse backgrounds to investigate the distinctive properties of materials at the nanometer scale, typically ranging from 1 to 100 nanometers. This collaborative effort spans various scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and materials science, exploring applications such as renewable energies, carbon capture, and environmental preservation. The realm of nanomaterials has witnessed rapid growth, gaining significant attention.

The seamless integration of nanomaterials and their manufacturing technologies into diverse applications, such as solar cells, wind energy, electrolyzers, fuel cells, batteries, supercapacitors, air purification, and water treatment (e.g., Advanced Oxidation Processes, desalination, membrane separation, etc.), has played a substantial role in addressing domestic and outdoor air pollution while enhancing the quality and accessibility of drinking water.

To meet the demands of clean energy and environmental applications, ongoing innovation in nanomaterial development is crucial to provide increased surface area, enhanced catalytic activity, and improved efficiency. However, responsible consideration of potential environmental and health impacts is essential for sustainable nanomaterial applications. A comprehensive understanding of the physicochemical, structural, microstructural, and surface properties of nanomaterials is pivotal in achieving the desired efficiency, cycle life, and sustainability across various technological applications.

This dedicated session on the "Development of Nanomaterials for Applications in Energy and the Environment" serves as a platform for researchers and industry professionals to showcase recent advancements in addressing pressing energy and environmental challenges through nanoscience and nanotechnology. The event offers an opportunity to explore future directions in nanomaterial development and aims to inspire forthcoming efforts in this area. Renowned specialists from industry and academia in the fields of nanomaterials design, energy, and environmental science will contribute to this session.


  • Daniel Ruiz-Molina

    Daniel Ruiz-Molina

    Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and BIST
    Campus UAB, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Mikhael Bechelany

    Mikhael Bechelany

    Directeur de recherche CNRS
    Institut Européen des Membranes (IEMM, ENSCM UM CNRS UMR5635)
    Montpellier, France
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