IGCP Projects approved in 2002
Full Title: Upper Cretaceous Oceanic Red Beds: response to Ocean/Climate Global Change
Proposers: C. Wang (China), M. Sarti (Italy), R. W. Scott (United States), L. F. Jansa (Canada) Prof. Wang Chengshan, Dr./Prof. Massimo Sarti, Dr. Robert W. Scott, Dr./Prof. Luba Jansa
The main objective of the project is to investigate and understand conditions which resulted in the change from anoxic to oxic sediments deposition in the world oceans during the Late Cretaceous. Such a change represents a unique event during the last 250 million years of the Earth history. It remains unknown what triggered such profound change in oceanic sedimentation, from sediments enriched in organic carbon as deposited during middle Cretaceous, to sediments devoid of any carbon as deposited during the parts of the Late Cretaceous. This could result from changes in the operating mode of various earth processes such as palaeoceanographic (e.g. changes in global ocean chemistry, palaeocirculation), tectonic (opening and closing of the seaways, migration of the continent plates), and climatic (change form greenhouse to icehouse conditions). Another possibility is that it may signal change in palaeoproductivity, which could alter the balance between carbon sources and sinks in the oceans. It has been suggested by some researchers that the increase in organic carbon in deep sea sediments during the middle Cretaceous was in part related to an increase in organic productivity in the oceans; therefore. Does this entail that the lack of organic carbon in deep ocean sediments during the Late Creatceous represents a major change in bioproductivity in the ocean? If it does, what caused such major change? If that is a change in bioproductivity, then understanding its forcing would be of major interest and concern to society, indicating potential for sudden changes in the food chain triggered by changes in the Earth Systems. Furthermore, such a study has economic overtones because changes in the location of organic carbon reservoirs imply changes in location of potential source rocks for hydrocarbon generation, which is of primary interest and importance for hydrocarbon exploration around the world.
The first step of the project will be to develop a catalogue of occurrences of such facies around the globe. Secondly, each of the distinctive facies will be assessed through geochemical, sedimentological and high-resolution chronostratigraphic analyses. Standardized methods of geochemical and chronostratigraphic analyses of deep-sea redbed deposits are important because some are predominantly unfossiliferous, such as those in the North Atlantic, and other dating methods must be used. Thirdly, these procedures will enable the correlation and timing of redbed occurrences and the evaluation of their synchroneity or diachroneity. The relationships among global occurrences of red, oxidized facies, palaeoceanographic processes, palaeoclimate changes, and plate tectonic changes will be analyzed with an aim to determine causes of major changes in Earth Systems, as locked in the Upper Cretaceous sedimentary record of the world oceans.
As the result of tectonic processes such deep sea sedimentary rocks are exposed on many continents, therefore available to on-land geologic studies. Indeed, strata representing the Upper Cretaceous oceanic red bed deposits (subsequently abbreviated to CORB) crop out in many regions of the Western Tethys such as the Alps in France, Spain and Italy, and in the Carpathian Mountains of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Cyprus. Recently they were discovered in Southern Tibet. Deep marine, red Upper Cretaceous deposits have also been cored in the North Atlantic and the Northern Indian Ocean by the DSDP/ODP drilling programme. The widespread distribution of CORBs has the potential for reconstructing the ocean structure in the aftermath of the Cenomanian/Turonian OAE, because CORBs were not only deposited in the deep ocean below the CCD, but also extended up the continental rises and slopes, where they are represented by reddish coloured marls and pelagic limestones.
Such research requires not only an integrated multidisciplinary approach, but also coordinated international action to facilitae co-operation among different specialists from different countries. This global approach is only possible within an international project such as the IGCP.
Full Title: Triassic Time and trans-Panthalassan Correlations
Proposers: M. J. Orchard (Canada)
The goals of the project are to identify correlatable data for global correlation of Triassic rocks and thereby produce a stable temporal framework based on sound palaeontological data complemented by magnetic and geochemical scales and calibrated with absolute isotopic ages. The project embraces current efforts of the IUGS Subcommission on Triassic Stratigraphy (of which the proposer is Chairperson), and of several international projects, and provides a vehicle to enhance the degree of international co-operation and collaboration between palaeontologists, stratigraphers, magnetostratigraphers, and geochemists, in both the marine and non-marine realms. Trans-Panthalassan correlations are emphasized in order to focus on the considerable Triassic data now available from the accreted terranes of the Pacific margin and to ensure that chronostratigraphic standards established in Tethys are applicable in the new world.
Full Title: The 600 Ma Pan-African Belt of Central Africa: Sedimentation, Deformation History, Magmatism, Metamorphism and Geotectonic Evolution
Proposers: S. Fйlix Toteu (Cameroon)
The Central African region (Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo Democratic Republic of Congo) is one of the poorly understood of the Pan-African-Brasilian belts system, despite its real mineral potential (Au, Sn, Nb, Ta, U, sulphides, etc.). The region is unequally surveyed, and works in different countries are initiated and conducted by isolated teams. As consequence, trans-national correlations of litho-structural units are difficult. The main goal of the project is to favour the constitution of a trans-national research team. Such a team will reconstruct the general framework of the evolution of the Pan-African orogeny; it will particularly concentrate on the following points: (1) the typology of granitoids, their origin and their relation with deformation processes; (2) the correlation between the Meso-to Neoproterozoic basins and volcanics involved in the Pan-African orogeny in all countries with particular reference to the early fragmentation history; (3) the tectono-metamorphic evolution with particular reference to the extent and significance of the granulitic belt north of the Congo Craton; (4) the synthesis of geophysical data. Furthermore, the project will offer opportunities (a) to each country to benefit from the experience of the others on the ground ore deposit survey; (b) to the research team to evaluate the economic potential of different rock units, which will enable the definition of exploration guidelines for geological and geochemical exploration; and (c) to graduate students to carry out research on the comparative studies on a regional basis.
Full Title: Evolution of Western Gondwana During the late Palaeozoic: Tectonosedimentary Record, Palaeoclimates and Biological Change
Proposers: C. O. Limarino (Argentina), L. A. Buatois (Argentina)
Luis A. Buatois, Instituto Superior de Correlaciуn, Casilla de Correo 1, Correo Central, 4000 San Miguel de Tucumбn, Argentina. Tel : (054) 381-425.3050, Fax : (054) 381-423.6395; E-mail: email@example.com
The major objective of the project is to promote the interaction among scientists and institutions devoted to the study of the Upper Palaeozoic of Western Gondwana in different countries. Research will be focused on three main aspects: (1) tectonic activity and sedimentary evolution of the Upper Palaeozoic basins; (2) climatic history of Western Gondwana and its impact on the biota and, (3) stratotype definition and sea level changes as a tool for regional and intercontinental correlations.
Full Title: Metallogeny of Central Asia: a GIS-based Synthesis on a Modern Geodynamic Background (Young Scientist Project)
Proposers: Dr Reimar Seltmann (Co-ordinator for initially 5 Young Scientist Project Proposal Teams targeting the Central Asian countries, i.e. the "Stans", and involving the neighbouring regions of Russia, Mongolia and China)
The proposed study will integrate the currently available data with new data in order to combine the geotectonic units of Central Asia and its mineral inventory, and to see the metallogenic evolution against the background of crustal growth during accretionary orogeny aiming to develop a unified metallogenic–geodynamic model of Central Asia. The selected mineral deposit sites will be studied in the field and by modern laboratory methods to obtain data on geochemistry of ores, mineralized rocks, wallrock alteration, and country rocks for developing genetic models of major mineral deposits. Interdisciplinary research will include classification and data processing of about 1200 deposits within the hosting terrains according to their age, deposits type, and metallotect. The complex research and correlation will be done through complementary teams with technical-methodological skills in GIS techniques and geodynamic-metallogenic expertise. This will result in the compilation of a set of GIS-based geological, geodynamic and metallogenic maps of Central Asia, scale of 1:1 500 000 aiming to assess the mineral potential of the study area, along with a monograph on Geology of Central Asian Mineral Deposits Types. It is expected that final maps and databases will be available in a single GIS-based package for the public domain and will help in recognition of prospective exploration terrains and mineral assessment of Central Asia.
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