Project 648 - Supercontinent Cycles and Global Geodynamics

Rapid recent progress in supercontinent research indicates that Earth's history has beendominated by cycles of supercontinent assembly and breakup. New developments in geophysical imaging power and computer simulation have provided increasingly clearer views of the Earth's interior, and how the moving plates on the Earth's surface interact with the deep planetary interior. In this project, we will bring together a diverse range of geoscience expertise to harness these breakthroughs in order to explore the occurrence and evolution history of supercontinents through time, and the underlying geodynamic processes. As part of this project, we will establish/improve global databases of geotectonics, palaeomagnetism, mineral deposits, and the occurrences of past mantle plume events, and examine how the supercontinent cycles interacted with the deep mantle to produce episodic and unevenly distributed Earth resources. The project builds on the success of a series of previous IGCP projects. It will not only lead to major scientific breakthroughs, but also develop user-friendly GIS-based databases that can be used by anyone who wants to reconstruct palaeogeography, test geodynamic models, model major climatic events such as Snowball Earth events, and predict exploration targets for Earth resources.

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