IGCP Project 474
Images of the Earth's Crust & Upper Mantle
Updated: May 05, 2009
IGCP 474 Images of the Earth's Crust & Upper Mantle
"Inner" Space, the Continents and their Margins
IGCP Project 474 commenced on the 6 February 2003 and finished running on the 31 December 2007. In March 2007, the IGCP474 committee submitted a new proposal that was based on the success of project IGCP Project 474; however with a new focus towards making available a wealth of information and seismic imaging that is commonly only available to research workers but yet has a profound effect on how we think of the landscapes, natural environments and their controlling geological processes and tectonic influences.
Brief Project History
The project was conceived in 2001 at the 9th International Symposium on Deep Structure of the Continents and their Margins in Oslo, Norway, with follow-up discussions at Cornell between Dr. Barry Drummond (Geoscience Australia), Prof. Larry Brown (Cornell University and Prof. Fred Cook (University of Calgary).
There was general consensus that a web-based information system was the best way to go. Previous projects to base information on hard-copy output in the form of transects had largely been lost in the earth science libraries of the world and was not flexible enough to incorporate new data easily and quickly.
Throughout 2002 discussions were held by email with various seismologists around the world and in May 2002 Doug Finlayson suggested approaching IGCP to see if they were interested in being a sponsor of the project. Dr. Cec Murray, Chairman IGCP Australia, gave encouragement to the idea and a project proposal prepared according to IGCP guidelines was submitted to IGCP Paris. On 6 February 2003 the IGCP Board approved the project and a confirmation letter from Dr Eder, IGCP Secretary, was dated 1 April 2003.
In January 2003 deep seismic profiling seismologists from around the world attended the 10th International Symposium on Deep Structure of the Continents and their Margins in Taupo, New Zealand. In anticipation of a successful outcome of the IGCP proposal, the project was discussed and a possible program of work for 2003 considered. This included the establishment of an Executive Committee for the project and decisions on what data sets should be worked on in the first year of the project. This enabled seismologists to focus on the project scientific commitments at opportune times throughout the year. It was also decided to hold a Symposium and Business meeting at the time of the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December 2003 to review the work in progress and the establishment of the project web site.
The meeting in New Zealand had set out the criteria for selecting transects for compilation, and a first pass list of desired transects to compile. Thirty transects from around the world were considered at the December, 2003 business meeting for inclusion on the IGCP 474 web site. The list was not regarded as being complete but it did give an idea of terranes suitable for inclusion at that stage of the project.
A business plan (dated 2 May 2003) was prepared that set out the modus operandi for the project for the 5-year lifetime of the project. This business plan was developed largely from the results of the preliminary discussions held in January in New Zealand, and set out the project mission statement and summary, the executive committee, administrative arrangements, timetable, financial arrangements, meetings, website development proposals, and educational/public information objectives. The business plan identified the following statement of goals:
The project sought to generate the collaboration to show and make available research images of type depth sections across representative orogenic belts, rifts, continental margins, etc. Previous attempts at such correlations had failed to make an impact because of the effort required to publish and distribute the seismic images and their interpretations in consistent formats. Some compilations are only available in scientific journals and to those with high-level specialist computer facilities. Some are contained in specialist atlases that would be difficult or impossible for the researchers in developing countries to access.
This was overcome by distributing the results via the World Wide Web. Distribution by the WWW ensured that the results were available almost everywhere immediately. The results were therefore designed to bridge the gap between scientific effort and the public interest and give the public a real insight into nature of the major geological processes in the outer 50-70 km of the Earth that directly affect their lives.
IGCP Project 474 provided a catalyst for, and the means by which, the results of the separate regional programs were brought into a global scientific framework, in order to tease out common scientific results that do not arise from the individual programs.
The majority of the deep seismic profiling results available today are from developed nations with the financial backing for large-scale projects. In making seismic profiling results available in a global scientific context, such results were made more available and have more meaning to researchers and educators in developing nations that have no opportunity fund their own seismic imaging programs.
IGCP Project 474 aimed to make available to a worldwide scientific, educational and public audience, the best examples of seismic images of the interior of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle across a variety of representative structural provinces from all parts of the globe.
The project was established as a result of a perceived need to make available to a wider international audience the results of deep seismic profiling and imaging projects around the world and inform interested persons about the background to much of our knowledge about crustal architecture that affects our daily lives.
To provide ready access to seismic images of the Earth's basement geology, deep crust and upper mantle, with interpretations of these data to contribute to more informed debate on:
This IGCP project brings together the strengths in a number of major geoscience research institutions and international associations to make available to a worldwide scientific, educational and public audience, the best examples of images of the interior of the Earth's crust and upper mantle across a variety of representative structural provinces from all parts of the globe. This aim may be seen as part of a wider objective to foster the spread and application of geoscience knowledge to issues related to the pursuit of international social, economic and cultural goals and sustainable development.
Since the 1960s there has been an explosion in the quantity and quality of seismic images of the Earth's crust. These images give us a detailed insight into the geological structures and tectonic processes that shape the crust. They are therefore relevant to natural resource exploration, the distribution and management of groundwater resources and the study and mitigation of natural hazards such as earthquakes. They define the processes that control the evolution of the landscape and soils.
Most deep seismic images have been generated to study geology at the regional scale. This project will provide the catalyst for and the means by which the results of the separate regional programs will be brought into a global scientific framework. Most Earth science theory flows from an understanding of the geology at the surface of the Earth. This project will generate the collaboration to show and make available seismic images across representative orogenic belts, rifts, continental margins, etc. Most of the results available today are from developed nations. In making the results available in a global scientific context, they will be available and have meaning to researchers and educators in developing nations which have no opportunity fund their own seismic imaging programs.
Formats are chosen to ensure access by the general public. Distribution by the WWW ensures that the results will be available almost everywhere immediately. The results will therefore bridge the gap between scientific effort and the public interest and give the public a real insight into nature of the major geological processes in the outer 50-70 km of the Earth that directly affect their lives.
6-14 August, 2008
IGCP474 assisted in arranging a session at the 33rd International Geological Congress, which was held in Oslo in 2008. For more information please visit their website or contact:
24-29 September, 2008
IGCP 474 will be partly sponsoring the 13th International Symposium on "Deep Seismic Profiling of the Continents and Their Margins". The symposium will be held in Finland.
IGCP474 will be co-sponsoring a poster session at the symposium based on classic seismic imaging transects across terranes with global significance. For more information on the IGCP474 session at this conference, please contact:
Project 474 Future Activities
The IGCP Project 474 Executive Committee wish here to formally request that the IGCP/UNESCO/IUGC extend the term of the project by five years to cover the period 2008 to 2012.
Based on various reports both formal and informal (including IGCP Scientific Board assessments) the IGCP Project 474 Executive Committee believe that the project is demonstrably achieving its aim to provide ready access to images of the Earth’s basement geology and deep crust, and thus contribute to more informed debate on issues related to geological paradigms, tectonic processes, the natural environment, natural hazards and the sustainable use of natural resources including soil, water, energy and minerals.
The Executive Committee is in contact with a large community of geoscientists on all continents that have an interest in deep seismic imaging of the Earth’s crust and is aware of the applications of deep seismic profiling in developing a better understanding of the geological processes that have shaped the surface features of the Earth’s continents and its margins. This geoscience community is well able to channel information on the Earth’s crust to the project’s web site www.earthscrust.org and ensure that the material and information presented there is of the highest standard. We believe also that the wider geoscience community in academia, commercial enterprises and public education is benefiting from the efforts of the project.
The project’s connection with the series of biannual International Symposia on Deep Seismic Profiling of the Continents and their Margins is firmly established and should continue for the foreseeable future with mutual advantages. At the 2006 project Business Meeting in Japan there was strong support for the continuation of the project beyond its current term of 2003 to 2007. In fact the meeting supported the proposition to continue the project for another term of five years until 2012 with stronger links to other or ga nisations such as IASPEI and ILP.
In the last year the project has demonstrated by its web site “hits” that it is beginning to be widely known and respected by the public and international community. This public support will only grow as the web site is steadily extended and improved with links to other appropriate sources of information. Having reached this point of wide public acceptance/use the Executive Committee would see a termination of the project at the end of 2007 by IGCP/UNESCO/IUGS as a retrograde step in its wider aims to link geoscience with the wider community. The project has the strong support of Geoscience Australia as host for its web site and we anticipate that this will continue.
The Executive Committee of the IGCP Project 559 request that IGCP/UNESCO/IUGS continue support for the project for the period 2008 to 2012 and that funding to at least the current level be continued to enable the project to fulfil its aims over that period.If the Executive Committee can be of any further assistance in providing details of the project operations please contact the IGCP Project 559 Chairman or Business Manager.
The above proposal was successful and IGCP Project 559 was approved and now continues the excellent work of IGCP Project 474.
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