IGCP Projects approved in 2004
Countries involved: Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States
Full Title: Structural and Tectonic Correlation across the Central Asia Orogenic Collage: Implications for Continental Growth and Intracontinental Deformation
Project leaders: B. Natal'in (Turkey), A. Yin (United States), A. M. C. Sengor (Turkey), M. Kuzmin (Russia)
Duration: 2004 (preliminary acceptance) (-2008)
Central Asia encompasses nearly a dozen countries and consists of several orogenic complexes, one of which, the Altaids, is ca. 1000 km wide and 7000 km long, stretching from the Ural Mountains in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the East. It is composed of several tectonic collages that were created by oceanic subduction and continental collision from the Late Proterozoic to the end of the Palaeozoic. The last decade witnessed the establishment of two competing tectonic hypotheses for the development of these orogenic complexes. The first views the Palaeozoic-Early Mesozoic development of Central Asia as a process of continuous growth of the continental crust by duplicating arc and forearc materials via large-scale strike-slip systems during subduction. In contrast, other workers consider that frontal collision and collapse of back-arc oceans are the main mechanism for crustal growth of Central Asia. The two competing hypothesis have distinctive predictions with regard to:
Beside Palaeozoic accretionary tectonics, Central Asia is also a locus of extensive Cenozoic deformation. Debate in the past two decades has been focused on whether the deformation was induced by (1) the far-field effect of Indo-Asian collision, (2) back-arc deformation induced by interaction of the Asian and Pacific plates, and (3) flow and upwelling in the deep mantle. Although testing these first-order problems would yield important insights on how continental crust has grown and how continental lithosphere deforms, the failure to correlate even the first-order tectonic elements and boundaries in the region has severely hindered our understanding of the region. Because the central Asian orogenic belts cross several international borders, to tackle the above problems requires a collaborative and systematic approach across the entire region. Although some international collaboration has occurred or is still underway, these early studies nearly exclusively emphasize the geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks and mineral resources. Little attention has been paid to structural investigation of major tectonic boundaries in terms of their geometry, kinematics, and temporal evolution. Consequently, tectonic implications of the geochemical and petrological studies in central Asia have been somewhat ambiguous because the structural and tectonic settings are not well defined. The main mission of this project is to assist international collaboration to solve the first order tectonic problems listed above. It plans to host five workshops in four different Central Asian countries, with the aim to initiate collaborative research that will lead to the systematic correlation of tectonic, stratigraphic, igneous, and metamorphic units across Central Asia in both east-west and north-south directions.
Countries involved: Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Italia, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela
Full Title: Seismic microzoning of Latin America cities by realistic modelling of seismic ground motion
Project Leaders: J. L. Alvarez Gomez (Cuba), A. Giesecke (Peru), G. F. Panza (Italy)
The project is, to some extent, complementary to RADIUS, a UN-IDNDR programme, recently terminated. It faces pre-disaster work: prediction of expected earthquake effects in important cities of Latin America, in order to reduce the possible impact of great earthquakes. This prediction consists of two different parts; first of all it is necessary to determine the most probable earthquake (or in some cases the bigger one) that can affect a city, i.e., seismic hazard assessment (probabilistic or deterministic) expressed in values of expected seismic effects for a particular kind of soil at a regional scale. Second, it has to be evaluated how this regional estimation varies throughout a city, that in general is placed in a sedimentary basin, where local incremental effects are commonly present. The first part is at present well known in the Latin American region, as a result of more than 20 years of seismic hazard assessment studies, probabilistic or deterministic, accomplished at national or regional scale. Their results provide the initial base for this project. The second part is more complicated, it falls in the field which it is known as "seismic microzoning", a kind of work that normally involves big research teams, the use of expensive equipment and long time of registration of local earthquakes or microseisms. Because of the big cost of this kind of research such work was accomplished in several countries (Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, and Costa Rica) but always for fewer cities than those that really need to be studied.
An alternative to solve this problem was developed at the beginning of past decade and was successfully tested, at a global scale, in the recently finished UNESCO/IGCP Project 414 "Determination of seismic input of megacities and large urban areas". Instead of expensive widespread in-situ measurements, with the knowledge of accurate three-dimensional structures and expected source mechanism, very realistic seismograms at all sites of interest can be computed which allow the prediction seismic ground motion. The structural and source database can be updated continuously by comparison with new obtained data, and the prediction can be continuously improved. The project is based on a powerful network of Work Stations in ICTP that can be remote accessed. As ICTP is oriented toward practical training and updating of knowledge of scientists and students from developing countries, training in this institution will be an important aspect of the present work plan. This training will be complemented by regional meetings or seminars. The final purpose of this project is the construction of detailed microzoning maps for selected cities, starting with relative amplification maps based upon response spectra and elastic energy input spectra computations.
Countries involved: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Morocco Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States
Full Title: Quaternary Land-Ocean Interactions: Driving Mechanisms and Coastal Responses
Project Leaders: A. Long (United Kingdom), S. Islam (Bangladesh)
Contact: Dr Antony Long, Department of Geography, University of Durham, Science Site, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom, Tel: + 44 191 374 2493, Fax: + 44 191 37 2456, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sea-level and coastal change are high on the global research agenda. This is because of the large (and growing) number of people who live in the coastal zone and who are increasingly vulnerable to coastal flooding associated with sea-level rise, storm surges and river flooding. This project will improve understanding of how sea-levels and coasts have changed in the past and, from this, how what we might expect in the future.
The key aims of the project are a) to determine the driving mechanisms behind changes in sea-level change over different spatial and temporal scales and b) to better understand the interaction of terrestrial and marine processes in controlling shoreline evolution. The project will:
Measurable outputs will include: at least four collections of scientific papers detailing collective research results; a strengthened international coastal science community (through meetings, a web page, email list etc.); greater exchange of research ideas between developed and developing countries through conferences and workshops; a manual for best practice in the collection and analysis of coastal and sea level data, published on-line and in paperback. The project is strongly interdisciplinary and will involve collaboration between geologists, archaeologists and geophysicists, as well as researchers in marine sciences, fluvial hydrology and atmospheric sciences. It relates to "Geoscience in the Service of Society" in several ways:
Countries involved: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kazachstan, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.
Full Title: The Rheic Ocean: its origin, evolution and correlatives
Project Leaders: U. Linnemann (Germany), R. D. Nance (United States), M. de Wit (South Africa), E. Bozkurt (Turkey), P. Kraft (Czech Republic), F. Pereira (Portugal), R. A. Strachan (United Kingdom)
The evolution of the Appalachian orogen is commonly described in terms of the Iapetus ocean. Its opening produced the rifted margin of Eastern Laurentia and its closure resulted in the collision of this margin with Baltica and a variety of peri-Gondwanan terranes. However, the climactic collision in the Appalachian orogen and much of Eastern and Central Europe was not that of Iapetus closure but that of its immediate successor, the Rheic Ocean. The closure of the Rheic Ocean produced the vast Ouachita-Alleghenian-Variscan orogen and was one of the principal events in the Late Paleozoic assembly of the supercontinent Pangea.
The Rheic Ocean is generally held to have opened between Gondwana and a number of terranes that rifted from the Amazonian-West African margin of Gondwana. Its growth occurred at the expense of the Iapetus Ocean and its closure brought Gondwana into collision with Laurussia during the assembly of Pangea. But despite its importance during the Palaeozoic, the history of the Rheic Ocean has not received the same attention as that of its better-known forerunner, and much controversy surrounds its origin, palaeogeography and evolution. These controversies result from uncertainties in the identification of its rifted margins, in the timing of its initial rifting and rift-drift transition, in its size and geography, and in the geodynamics of its final closure. The reason for these uncertainties is the broad geographic area to which the regions of the Rheic geology were scattered following the breakup of Pangea, including North and Central America, Western, Central and Eastern Europe, and North and South Africa, and the widely varying disciplines involved in its study. As a result, communication between interested geoscientists is impeded by language and cross-disciplinary barriers. To remedy this, the project considers it timely to bring together geoscientists of different disciplines from each of these areas in order that a more comprehensive understanding of the evolution of this important ocean can be developed. In particular, scientists from less developed nations and former eastern-block countries will be invited in order to promote information and technology transfer that will both promote the goals of the project and enhance the development of the geosciences in their own countries. The fields of expertise involved are stratigraphy, sedimentology, palaeontology, igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochronology, geochemistry, structural geology, tectonics, palaeogeography, palaeoceanography and geophysics.
Countries involved: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan
Full Title: Devonian land-sea interaction: evolution of ecosystems and climate
Project Leaders: P. Konigshof (Germany), J. Lazauskiene (Lithuania), E. Schindler (Germany), Volker Wilde (Germany) and N. Yalcin (Turkey)
The Devonian was a critical period with respect to the diversification of early terrestrial ecosystems. Plant life on land evolved from tiny tracheophytes to trees of considerable size in combination with a global increase in terrestrial biomass, and vertebrates started to conquer the land. Extensive shallow marine areas and continental lowlands with a wide range of different habitats existed which are preserved in a large number of basins all around the world. Climate change finally led from greenhouse to icehouse conditions towards the end of the Devonian. Both, rapid evolution of terrestrial ecosystems and climate change had a pronounced influence on sedimentation and biodiversity not only in the terrestrial but also in the marine realm ("Devonian Change").
A major goal of the project will be to focus on controls and interactions of the respective facies parameters in different palaeogeographic settings in order to refine the global picture by international co-operation in a number of case studies. Geoscientific co-operation will include a variety of disciplines, such as sedimentology, palaeontology, stratigraphy, palaeoclimatology, palaeogeography, geochemistry, palaeooceanography, and structural geology, in collaboration with the Subcommission on Devonian Stratigraphy (SDS).
The rapid evolution of early life on land and its interaction with sedimentary processes, climate, and paleogeography, both on land and in marine settings, will be covered by studies in different terrestrial and marine facies. Increasing colonization of the land by plants in combination with soil-forming processes and changing runoff led to major changes of sediment input into the marine system. On the other hand, sediment input and climate are major controls for carbonate production and reef development. The study of responses and interactions thus needs detailed characterization of facies and high-resolution correlation which can only be provided by a refined stratigraphy including biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy, chronostratigraphy, etc. Characterization of facies and correlation of stratigraphic units is especially difficult in marine-terrestrial transitions and will be an important focus of the project. Resolution of sea-level changes will be enhanced by recognition and exact correlation of their effects which may be hidden just in these transitions. On the background of the global geotectonic situation, this will be an important prerequisite for a better discrimination of eustatic, climatic, and biotic controls, both on regional and global scale.
The focus of the project concerns the interrelated evolution of terrestrial and marine palaeoecosystems with respect to biotic and abiotic factors in space and time. Studies will include individual palaeoecosystems and their components as well as their palaeobiogeographic distribution. Biotic and abiotic factors of palaeoecosystems are controlled by both, earthbound and extraterrestrial triggers causing either cyclicity and/or distinct events. Thus in turn, such studies may give a clue to underlying causes of global changes. The project will include sedimentologic and climatic controls of reef development and distribution as well as diversity, and palaeoecology of reef building organisms throughout the Devonian.
The results of the project will contribute to the understanding of the prerequisites and processes which finally led to economically important deposits in Devonian rocks. Clastic and carbonate sequences may be source and host rocks for petroleum and/or natural gas and may carry important groundwater resources. Further Devonian deposits of economic interest include, for example, hematitic iron ores and sedimentary lead-zinc deposits as well as evaporites (e.g., anhydrite, gypsum). The respective results of the project can thus be beneficial especially for the participating developing and fast-developing countries. Studies on the evolution and interaction of Devonian marine and terrestrial ecosystems may contribute to the understanding of forces driving climate and ecosystems today and in the future. Understanding Devonian climate dynamics is of interest for the creation of modern climatic models. Mapping of facies distribution has direct economic benefits, which are related to oil migration and storage in porous reservoir sediments, and to groundwater migration. In these respects, scientists from former eastern countries and from developing countries/fast-developing countries will greatly benefit from the project.
Countries involved: Australia, Botswana, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, India, Iran,South Africa,Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
Full Title: Westerlies and Monsoons: Impacts of Climate Change and Variability on Dryland Environmetns, Hydrogeology and People
Project Leader: D.Thomas (United Kingdom)
The project has three main aims, which build on and develop from the outcomes of IGCP 413. The aims are coherent with the overall purpose of the IGCP scheme and will be specifically pursued through a series of project objectives.
Aim 1: To enhance the welfare of dryland societies by contributing to a better understanding of what drives climate change and variability, environmental change and key resource availability over timescales ranging from millennia to subdecadal.
Aim 2: To investigate the dynamics of key dryland landscape and resource elements, especially hydrological dynamics and aeolian system dynamics, and their impacts on and interactions with the human use of drylands.
Aim 3: Through the above scientific goals, enhance capacity in cutting edge dryland science and to provide a significant dryland input to the co-IGCP CHANGES initiative.
Countries involved: Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Portugal
Full Title: Soil regeneration with erosion products and other wastes, especially using dam reservoir sediments
Project Leaders: F. J. A. S. Barriga (Portugal), W. S. Fyfe (Canada), O. Leonardos (Brazil), Shengrong Li (China)
Duration: 2004(preliminary acceptance) (-2008)
Contact: Prof. Fernando Jose Arraiano de Sousa Barriga, Department of Geology and Creminer, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, Campo Grande, 1794-016 Lisbon, PORTUGAL, Tel.: +351 217500066, Fax: +351 217599380, E-mail: email@example.com
Through close international cooperation, the main objective of this project is to define fertilizing alternatives for agricultural soils by using renewable natural resources/wastes (sediments accumulated in the bottom of dam reservoirs, milled-rock and coal ash) from several locations around the globe (Brazil, China, Portugal) and through correlative studies, improve the understanding of the geological processes controlling them. The main objective is developing effective ways to reduce environmental problems related with the storage of surface water and the world progressive degradation of soils and thereby to improve the human living conditions in more deserted areas. This requires studies on various scales, from detailed mineralogical and chemical characterization of prospective soil additives, to fertility experiments at the bench, pilot and field scales, to assess the economic feasibility of the proposed soil-improvement measures. A second objective to be tested in favourable situations is the possibility of separating coarse and fine fractions from dam reservoir sediments, sending the former downstream, to mitigate the problem of lack of sediment on coastlines (a serious problem in many regions, e.g. Portugal).
The social and environmental implications will be far-reaching and truly invaluable economic if the feasibility of using dam reservoir sediments, milled rock and coal ash as artificial soils or soil fertilizers can be proven. This is related to the strong increase of large dam constructions in many parts of the world, the related environmental problems and the progressive degradation of soils that are quickly becoming desolated. The geochemistry and the mineralogy of soils worldwide are critical to estimate their capacity for sustainable organic productivity and improve their chemical and physical properties. The type of additives should be closely linked to the soil type to avoid pollution problems, chemical fertilizers should be replaced by mineral fertilizers with strict quality control. These mineral fertilizers could be the sediments accumulated in the bottom of dam reservoirs, from natural processes and over-erosion in drainage areas and the weathered milled products resulting from rocks alteration. The agricultural use of these geological products could be applied in a global scale. Thus, the process of removal and use of dam reservoir sediments and milled rock could convert a problem into a global sustainable resource, benefiting specially the agricultural society living near big impoundments. This would also solve another environment problem in dam reservoirs, which is to improve the water quality and thereby the quality of life of many regions that depend on surface-water storage.
Countries involved: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom,
Full Title: Global Comparison of Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulphide Districts: the controls on distribution and timing of VMS deposits
Project Leaders: R.Allen (Sweden), F. Tornos (Spain), J. Peter (Canada), N. Cagatay (Turkey)
The aim of the project is to study and compare a number of the world's important VMS districts in order to define the key geological events that control the distribution and timing of high-value VMS deposits; and thereby develop new criteria for locating these ore deposits. Related aims comprise:
Countries involved: Over 150 scientists will be actively involved in this new project.
Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Mongolia, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan
Full Title: The impact of the changing palaeogeography and palaeoclimate on the major biotic changes through the Ordovician (Ordovician biodiversification, end-Ordovician extinction, Silurian radiation)
Project Leaders: T. Servais (France), D.A.T. Harper (Denmark), J. Li (China), A. Munnecke (Germany), W. Owen (United Kingdom), P.M. Sheehan (United States)
Arguably the most sustained rise in marine biodiversity took place during the Ordovician and the second largest mass extinction event took place close to the end of that Period, coinciding with an episode of major climate fluctuation. The results of the very successful IGCP project 410 "The Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event" not only included the development of an improved globally-integrated biozonation for graptolites, conodonts and chitinozoans, but also generated biodiversity curves that have been constructed for all Ordovician fossil groups.
Following the work of the numerous regional teams and of the clade teams, that were established for each fossil group in IGCP 410, the new proposal strives to be a successor project in order to develop a better understanding of the environmental changes that influenced the biodiversity trends in the Ordovician and Early Silurian. The major objective of the new project is thus to attempt to find the possible physical and/or chemical causes (related to changes in climate, sea level, volcanism, plate movements, extraterrestrial influences, etc.) of the Ordovician biodiversification, the end-Ordovician extinction and the Silurian radiation. Work on the patterns of biodiversity change at a range of taxonomic, spatial and temporal scales will be carried out to understand the environmental parameters within which these changes took place. The understanding of the changes of the marine diversity in the Ordovician and Silurian (including the oldest and second largest of the "Big Five" Mass Extinctions) at the global level should provide a better understanding of the evolution of life on our planet in relation to palaeogeographical and palaeoclimatical changes.
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