SEE Great Geobakeoff 2016

Here we present the results from the 2016 SEE Great Geobakeoff


Overall winner: ESSI’s Synchrotron Cake

Schchrotrontastic: when did you ever eat such a shiny cake?

The overall winner which particularly wowed the judges with its flavour was ESSI’s synchrotron cake, created by Jen Rodley and Gemma Woodward. They made a synchrotron in cake form, as you might see at Diamond Light Source in Harwell, near Oxford. Inside the shiny silver exterior the electron raspberries travelled so fast around the chocolate cake at 7.5 times per second, creating X-rays to investigate the structure of samples. The base level shows example spectra that the synchrotron might produce, with different peaks relating to different elements.


Other fabulous entries included…


Python Cakes

Debugging has never been so delicious

Kirsty Pringle from the newly formed CEMAC (Center of Excellence for Modelling the Atmosphere and Climate) made these cakes as an example of the Python code to help the aerosol group visualise their model data. These symbols represent the tools Kirsty uses every day – Python and cake.


Volcanology’s Chocolate Volcano

When dome collapse gets delicious

Claire Harnett, Chris Moore and Dinko Sindija’s volcano cake exploded onto the scene, featuring rice crispies and chocolate block pyroclastic flow from the collapse of an old lava dome. This flow destroyed some icing houses whilst gummy people stood by helplessly. A new lava dome is forming in the crater after the previous dome collapse and all the deformation was visible from space, as seen from the sprinkles representing an interferogram of dome inflation. Delicious chocolate blocks from previous flows and ballistics were visible all around the cake.

Sprinkles interferogram showing volcanic deformation. Note that sprinkles were separated by colour from a mixed pack painstakingly by hand.


Tectonic’s Italian Earthquake Cake



Ruth Amey and Katy Willis from the Tectonics group recreated this photo of Laura Gregory and Huw Goodall standing on a fault scarp from an earthquake that happened during their fieldwork in Italy in October this year. The entire fault scarp, shown by marzipan on the cake, was created during just one earthquake! The earthquake caused several chocolate honeycomb landslides as well as new sugarglass springs to be created overnight out of the coconut grass. The fault surface, including its slickenslides, was measured using an icing LiDAR scanner. It was a normal faulting earthquake, and icing arrows on the side show how the vanilla sponge was offset during the earthquake event. Multiple earthquakes like this one have created the topography of the chocolate ganache mountain. The original picture was taken from a helicopter which Huw Goodall recreated in icing.