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Scientific Program

Message from the Scientific Program Chair

Welcome to the Scientific Program of the 34th International Geological Congress (IGC). The overall theme, Unearthing our Past and Future – Resourcing Tomorrow, reflects the crucial roles the geosciences play in meeting the needs of societies while sustaining the Earth. 

A broad scientific program based on 37 Themes has been developed by the Scientific Program Committee and the Scientific Theme Coordinators, with input from International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) affiliated groups and individual scientists. We have tried to accommodate all suggestions, but in cases where multiple proposals were received on a particular topic we have had to make decisions on who would be responsible for developing these. Further, with a view to ensuring a manageable program, we have had to include suggestions for coverage of specific topics and regions in broad-ranging Symposia.

On behalf of the Scientific Program Committee I hope you find the proposed program both interesting and exciting. We hope that the scientific sessions and the plenary presentations and panels will stimulate discussion and interest in your area of science and beyond, recognising the increasing need for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to addressing contemporary issues in the geosciences.

Lynton Jaques  

Chair, 34th IGC Scientific Program Committee


Scientific Program Committee

Lynton Jaques, Committee Chair, Canberra, ACT
Mike Smith, Chair Australian Geoscience Council, Sydney, NSW
Ian Lambert, Secretary General , Canberra, ACT
Mike Archer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
Mark Berry, Australian Institute of Geoscientists, Brisbane, Queensland
David Denham, Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Canberra, ACT
George Gibson, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, ACT
Andrew Gleadow, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
David Lumley, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA
Alex Malahoff, Chief Executive, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Colin Simpson, Councillor, IUGS, Canberra, ACT
Paulo Vasconcelos, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland
Malcolm Walter, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
Paul Kay, Deputy Secretary General , Canberra, ACT



Scientific Symposia

The scientific program is outlined below. This is the basis for the call for abstracts and for inviting speakers. In March-April 2012, the number and range of abstracts submitted will be taken into account in designing the final program and time table for the 5 day IGC program.

The broad ranging scientific program for the 34th IGC includes approximately 220 Symposia under the 37 Themes. All of these will be open for any delegate with full IGC registration to attend.

All Symposia in the scientific program are expected to include both oral and poster presentations. Individuals will only be permitted to deliver one oral presentation in the Symposia program, but they may co-author multiple oral presentations and may give multiple poster presentations. Invited keynote and specialist session presenters may deliver a second oral paper in the Symposia program.

The scientific program also includes the YES (Young Earth Scientist) Network Congress which will include a Symposium under Theme 36 and an evening program. Further details will be provided on the YES Network website (

The official language of the Congress will be English and translation services will not be provided.

All IGC participants (including theme coordinators, symposium convenors and keynote speakers) must register for the Congress.

Symposia outlines are accessible via live links below. Any questions or requests for further information should be addressed to the Communicating Theme Coordinators or Symposium Convenors, whose email addresses are listed in the program following.

Video-recording of presentations will not be permitted at the .

34th IGC Scientific Program

Any questions or requests for further information should be addressed to the Communicating Theme Coordinators or Symposium/Session Convenors, whose email addresses are listed in the program below.


You can download the Full Program here.


Theme 1. Geoscience for Society

Coordinator: Hamish CAMPBELL (New Zealand)

This Theme encompasses the roles of the geosciences in decisions and approaches that are of wide public interest, including geological heritage and geotourism; geoscience underpinning conservation; geoscience education; communicating geoscience to the public; museum collections; forensic geoscience; and gemstones.



1.1 Geoheritage, geoparks and geotourism


Bernie JOYCE (Australia), José BRILHA (Portugal), Ian GRAHAM (New Zealand), Patrick MCKEEVER (Ireland), Nickolas ZOUROS (Greece), Changxing LONG (China), Ross DOWLING (Australia) and Angus M ROBINSON (Australia)

This Symposium will examine the importance and diversity of geological heritage (geoheritage). Key topics will include the identification and quantification of geoheritage, geodiversity and geosites, the significance of geoconservation, UNESCO’s geoparks, as well as the growth of geotourism.

For more information, visit

Keynote speakers: William WIMBLEDON (UK), Patrick MCKEEVER (Ireland), Nickolas ZOUROS (Greece) and Ross DOWLING (Australia)


1.2 Geoscience education


Jesus MARTINEZ-FRIAS (Spain), Gary LEWIS (USA), Sarah GAINES (UNESCO), Julian THOMSON (New Zealand) and Bronte NICHOLLS (Australia)

This Symposium is an opportunity to highlight incentives and resources available for teaching earth science in primary and secondary schools in particular, but is also an opportunity to reflect on geoscience teaching at tertiary level as well.

Keynote speakers: Mary MARLINO (USA), Chris KING (UK) and Greg McNAMARA (Australia)

1.3 Geoscience outreach (public communication, museums and media)


Hamish CAMPBELL (New Zealand)

This Symposium will focus on incentives and strategies for raising public awareness of the relevance of earth science to modern societies and economies. It will embrace the experience of science communicators, museums and the media.

Keynote speaker: Bob CARTER (Australia) 

1.4 Forensic geoscience

  Rob FITZPATRICK (Australia), Laurance DONNELLY (UK) and Dallas MILDENHALL (New Zealand)

Forensic geoscience is a growing area of relevance in providing critical forensic information from landscape to microscopic scales, to solve both criminal and environmental investigations. This Symposium will provide a forum for earth scientists to showcase development of new sophisticated field and laboratory methods; and explore their experiences through case study analysis.

1.5 Gemstones


Lin SUTHERLAND (Australia), Ian T GRAHAM (Australia), Khin ZAW (Australia) and Lee GROAT (Canada)

This Symposium will focus on all aspects of the gemstone industry from both a social science and geoscience perspective, with particular emphasis on gemstone identity, natural occurrence and abundance.

Keynote speaker: Lee GROAT (Canada)



1.6 Strengthening communication between fundamental and applied geosciences and between geoscientists and public [European Federation of Geologists]

  Isabel FERNÁNDEZ FUENTES and Ruth Allington

The symposium will discuss the benefits to be gained from a better understanding between geological communities.  These include:  incorporation of more relevant and informed education in applied geology and professional skills at university level; an improvement of industry competitiveness through more rapid conversion of research findings to applied technologies and methodologies; clear pathways and assessment criteria for geoscience graduates seeking to attain Professional Qualifications and their employers and mentors; and design of research projects and allocation of research funding based on a better appreciation of societal needs.

The symposium is organised in collaboration with a number of other professional organizations with which EFG has developed important working relationship: American Geological Institute (“AGI”), American Institute of Professional Geologists (“AIPG”), Australian Institute of Geoscientists (“AIG”), Geoscientists Canada, and International Union of Geological Sciences. ("IUGS").  

Theme 2. Geoscience Benefiting Low Income Countries

[Association of Geoscientists for International Development, AGID]

Coordinators: Mike KATZ (Australia), Shrikant LIMAYE (India), Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh) and Antony REEDMAN (UK)

This Theme recognises the importance of creating social awareness and capacity building in low income countries, in relation to groundwater management and rural health; geohazards; climate change; medical geology for human survival and welfare; geoplanning for urban development and infrastructure; role of geosciences in protecting ecosystems; geoethics; role of women geoscientists in resource development; construction and industrial minerals; production of mineral and energy resources.



2.1 Improving rural health and mitigating rural poverty through sustainable ground water development



Shrikant LIMAYE (India) and Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh)

The focus of this Symposium is on highlighting experiences, in groundwater development and management, gained through work on projects/programs of providing irrigational supply and/or safe quality drinking water supply from dug wells, bore wells and tube wells, in various hydrogeological, agro-climatic and socio-economic situations in low income countries. The Symposium is connected with UNESCO-IUGS-IGCP Project 523 “GROWNET” ( The Symposium invites papers on experiences in managing and conserving groundwater resources and ensuring sustainability of the quality and quantity of groundwater, for improving rural health and rural economies. 

Keynote speaker: Shrikant LIMAYE (India)

2.2 Social awareness, geoplanning and and capacity-building for development and mitigation of geohazards 


Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh), Shrikant LIMAYE (India), Sospeter MUHONGO (Tanzania) ,Gbenga OKUNLOLA (Nigeria) and Antony REEDMAN (UK)

Earth sciences have much to contribute to the reduction of risks from GeoHazards caused by natural processes and anthropogenic activities. In the 21st century, the global population will approach 10 billion people and climate change will have a significant effect on the health, safety and wellbeing of societies, especially in low-income countries and poor communities.

This is a multidisciplinary Symposium whose goal is dissemination of best practices in reducing the impact of geohazards in low-income countries and poor communities. It will focus on the hard-learned experiences in creating public awareness, capacity building in the Public Sector, and initiating actions in low-income countries. But examples from elsewhere are welcome, with the intent of providing a forum where geoscience practitioners can learn how to effectively translate science into action

Keynote speaker: Sospeter MUHONGO (Tanzania)


2.3 Developing geoscience education and awareness for the benefit of society


Nurul HASAN (Bangladesh), Mike KATZ (Australia), Gbenga OKUNLOLA (Nigeria), Antony REEDMAN (UK) and Chris KING (UK)

It is the wish of all people to live in safe and healthy communities with a prospect of increasing prosperity. A safe supply of potable water, a sustainable food supply and a wide range of other natural resources are required to attain this ambition and ensuring their availability draws heavily on geoscientific knowledge. This Symposium seeks to expose innovative ideas and projects, working both through the formal education system and informal community networks, that seek to raise geoscience awareness amongst the people.

Keynote speaker: Mike KATZ (Australia)


2.4 Geoethics


Vaclav NEMEC (Czech Republic), Jesus MARTINEZ-FRIAS (Spain), Nataliya NIKITINA (Russia), Niichi NISHIWAKI (Japan) and Silvia PEPPOLONI (Italy)

Abstracts are invited on the theory and practice of geoethics, which recognizes the necessity of an ethical attitude to the geosphere and of finding ways to solve ethical dilemmas primarily in connection with natural hazards (including risk of unavoidable disasters), sustainable use of Earth resources and space exploration.  Education is essential for facilitating responsible decision-making based on integration of moral and cultural values with social, environmental, technical and economic considerations.

Keynote speakers: Vaclav NEMEC (Czech Republic), Arundeep AHLUWALIA (India), Ochir GEREL (Mongolia), Jesus MARTINEZ-FRIAS (Spain), Lidmila NEMCOVA (Czech Republic), Nataliya NIKITINA (Russia), Niichi NISHIWAKI (Japan), Silvia PEPPOLONI (Italy) and Haiqiao TAN (P.R.China)


2.5 Mineral and energy resources, construction and industrial minerals and the role of women in resource development


Mike KATZ (Australia), Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh), Gbenga OKUNLOLA (Nigeria) and Nehal UDDIN (Bangladesh), Madhumita DAS (India), Ezzoura ERRAMI (Morocco), Sharon LOCKE (USA) and Antony REEDMAN (UK)

Sustainable socio-economic infrastructure of a nation is an indication of its richness in mineral resources, technological know-how, and capability in extracting and utilizing those resources in development activities. Low income countries are behind in development activities due to lack of good economic condition and properly educated human resources in geosciences. Large and wide varieties of fuel and non-fuel mineral, construction and industrial minerals are insufficient to satisfy growing demand because of substantial increase in consumption. A strong economy can be related to the growth of mineral based industries. Robust investment in this sector can become the main engine of an economy. The Symposium will attempt to formulate guidelines to address these issues.

Keynote speakers: Nehal UDDIN (Bangladesh) and Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh)


2.6 The role of Geological Surveys in the development and management of natural resources, groundwater and disaster risk reduction


Antony REEDMAN (UK), Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh), David DENHAM (Australia), Siyan MALOMOS (Nigeria) and Qincheng HE (Thailand)

Most countries have established Geological Surveys or similar organisations that are responsible for supplying the geological information required to aid the development and management of national georesources and the reduction of risks from geohazards. In many low-income countries the collection and dissemination of national geological data and information suffers from a lack of financial resources and trained personnel. This Symposium seeks examples of projects, both international and domestic, aimed at overcoming these difficulties and producing sustainable outcomes assuring the future provision of nationwide geological data and information. 

Keynote speakers: Franca SCHWARZ (Germany), Afia AKHTAR (Bangladesh) and Qingcheng HE (Thailand)

Theme 3. Climate Change: Lessons from the Past; Implications for the Future

Coordinators: Michael BIRD (Australia) and Giuseppe Cortese (New Zealand) 

The geological record offers unique insights into understanding the multiple drivers and diverse consequences of climate change. Abrupt and rapid climatic changes in the past provide valuable analogues for future potential changes, and can be used to explore the veracity of climate models. We are interested in contributions addressing climate model-paleoclimate data comparisons, climate sensitivity, ocean acidification, carbon cycle dynamics, geosphere-biosphere feedbacks, climate variability in a warmer world, multi-proxy approaches to climate-temperature-hydrology reconstructions, and polar ice sheets and sea-level change.  Contributions from other important areas of paleoclimate research such as climate and tectonics are also welcome.



3.1   Climate variability in the Holocene


Gert J. DE LANGE (Netherlands) and Francis JIMENEZ-ESPEJO (Spain)

High-resolution Holocene climate records are invaluable for assessing how Earth is likely to respond to projected temperature and related environmental changes during the next few centuries to millennia. In this Symposium, we seek to place the impact of anthropogenic climate change into the context of natural climate variability over the last 10,000 years.  We particularly encourage contributions that utilise multiple proxy, high-resolution approaches to the study of ice core, terrestrial and marine sediment archives.

Keynote speaker: Edouard BARD (France)


3.2 Geology and Archaeology: submerged landscapes of the continental shelf


Jan HARFF (Germany), Geoff BAILEY (United Kingdom) and Friedrich LÜTH (Germany)

Climatically controlled sea level dynamics has influenced human population globally since prehistoric times. Global marine regression during glacial periods converted former marine environments of the continental shelf to prime territory for human settlement during 90% of human existence on the planet, until the postglacial transgression re-submerged these paleolandscapes. This shelf region provides the key to understanding earliest human dispersal out of Africa, and subsequent dispersals to all the major land masses as well as earliest developments in seafaring and marine exploitation. Marine geologists, archaeologists and climatologists are invited to present and discuss results in this field of underwater paleoenvironmental investigation.

Keynote speakers: Nicholas FLEMMING (UK) and Jon ERLANDSON (USA)

3.3 Monsoons, droughts and extreme weather events: deciphering climate variability from the geological record

  Jonathan NOTT (Australia), James SHULMEISTER (Australia) and Mohammed Rafi G. SAYYED (India)

The role of extreme weather events and enhanced climate variability is rapidly becoming a focus of concern for future climate change. Climate variability and the role of extreme events is, however, difficult to model and possible changes in climate state mean that modern climate records may be of limited use in predicting future variability. Geological archives provide a unique opportunity to investigate climate variability and extreme events under altered climate regimes. We seek novel contributions that address all areas of climate variability and extreme weather events.


3.4 Climate in a warmer world: Late Quaternary evidence from land, sea and ice records


Lionel CARTER (New Zealand), Giuseppe CORTESE (New Zealand), Rewi NEWNHAM (New Zealand) and Nancy BERTLER (New Zealand)

Palaeoenvironmental records of Late Quaternary interglacial periods are windows into a warmer world. Despite differences in temporal and spatial resolution, ice, terrestrial and marine archives of past change are invaluable for depicting how Earth is likely to respond to temperature changes projected for the next few centuries. Papers centred on environmental change during interglacial periods of the last 400,000 years are particularly welcome.

Keynote speakers: Marcus VANDERGOES (New Zealand) and Dorthe DAHL-JENSEN (Denmark)


3.5 The silent majority: Cenozoic (Paleocene-Pliocene) records of climatic warmth


David GREENWOOD (Canada), Matthew HUBER (USA) and Patrick MOSS (Australia)

The silent majority: pre-Quaternary records of climatic warmth. Ninety five percent of the Cenozoic exhibited little to no bi-polar glaciation, in part due to high CO2. Yet the lessons gleaned from this pre-icehouse climate archive have not informed discussions of the future as much as they should. Contributions are sought that identify key patterns and processes that caused, maintained, perturbed, and modulated pre-Quaternary greenhouse climate conditions.

Keynote speakers: Gabriel BOWEN (USA), Scott HUCKNELL (Australia) and Matthew HUBER (USA)


3.6 Greenhouse world and rapid climate change during the Mesozoic [International Geoscience Program (IGCP) 555, IGCP 507 and International Continental Drilling Program (ICDP) Songliao Project]


Chengshan WANG (China), Michael WAGREICH (Austria) and Xiaoqiao WAN (China)

As atmospheric CO2 concentrations rise during the 21st century, the Mesozoic-Paleogene “greenhouse climate” will serve as a relevant model. For example, during the mid-Cretaceous atmospheric CO2 contents were 4-8 times greater than the modern pre-industrial level. An understanding of how CO2 influenced the ocean/climate interaction will aid predictions of modern climate changes. Information on the Mesozoic-Paleogene greenhouse world comes from numerous studies of marine sediments both from continents and numerous ODP/DSDP sites. IGCP 555 examined the rapid environmental/climate change in the Cretaceous world (the so-called paradigm of greenhouse climate) and ocean-land interactions. A unique terrestrial record, extending from the Turonian to the Maastrichtian and forming the basis for the marine/terrestrial correlation and modelling data to test the climate/ocean interaction, comes from the Cretaceous lacustrine record in a 2600 m composite core in the Songliao Basin in NE China (SK-1 drilling program). The Continental Scientific Drilling Project of the Cretaceous Songliao Basin (drilling in August 2011) proposes to obtain about 4500 m of cores which, combined with the existing SK-I, and -II cores, will  form the first nearly complete Cretaceous terrestrial sedimentary record in the world and provide high-resolution climate records of the terrestrial environment from the latest Jurassic to early Paleogene. This topical Symposium will address the causes, processes, and consequences of rapid environmental changes in the Mesozoic-Paleogene greenhouse world, from both marine and terrestrial records.

Keynote speakers: Chengshan WANG (China), Michael WAGREICH (Austria),Yong Il LEE (Korea) and Helmut WEISSERT (Switzerland)


3.7 Pre-Mesozoic climates and global change [IGCP 591]


Kathleen HISTON (Italy), Vinod TEWARI (India) and Michael MELCHIN (Canada)

The Earth's severe global palaeoclimatic cycles, from global icehouse to greenhouse conditions, witnessed in the Neoproterozoic recur also throughout the Palaeozoic Era. The proposed session will explore integrated approaches to palaeoclimate reconstructions (fossils, proxies, models), correlation of the stratigraphic record of climate change, and cause-effect relationships within the ocean- atmosphere-biosphere Earth System during the Palaeozoic and Neoproterozoic.

Keynote speakers: David HARPER (Denmark) Alain PREAT (Belgium) and David RAY (UK)


3.8. Climate change and biodiversity patterns in the Mid Paleozoic [IGCP 596, IGCP 580 and SDS]


Peter KÖNIGSHOF (Germany) and Thomas SUTTNER (Austria)

The Mid-Paleozoic conforms to a time interval of dynamic long-term climate change. A rapid rise of land plants during the Middle Devonian which was coupled with strongly decreasing atmospheric CO2 values during the latest Devonian was followed by a complete reorganisation of ecosystems with tremendous consequences for marine communities at global scales. We are interested in contributions related to refinement of taxomomic identification and the increase in documentation of all fossil groups indicating terrestrial, neritic and pelagic marine environments during the Mid-Paleozoic for a better understanding of evolutionary trends in biodiversity during that time interval.

Keynote speakers: Wolfgang KIESSLING (Germany), Anne-Christine da SILVA (Belgium) and
Carlton BRETT (USA)

Theme 4. Environmental Geoscience

Coordinators: Colin SIMPSON (Australia) and Michael LEGGO (Australia)

This Theme covers the interconnectedness of geology and related environmental effects and includes the application of geoscientific methods in the measurement and mitigation of environmental issues. Indicative Symposia topics: indicators of environmental change; pollution and ground instability; medical geology (including dust and aerosols; gold and mercury); regional to global geochemical mapping; communicating environmental geoscience. Some other substantial areas of environmental geoscience will be covered under other Themes, particularly global climate science, groundwater/hydrogeology, mining, landscape evolution, and geohazards.



4.1 Environmental aspects of mining


Bernd LOTTERMOSER (Australia) and Kirk NORDSTROM (USA)

The demand for mineral and energy resources is intensifying, yet their exploitation causes numerous environmental challenges: tailings repositories are known to fail; mine-derived contaminants may be dispersed; the quality of air, soil, sediment and water can be compromised; ecosystem, plant, animal and human health may be put at risk; and the long-term costs of mine site rehabilitation can be staggering. Over the next 100 years, an additional 2000 cubic kilometres of waste rocks and tailings will likely accumulate around the globe. This session will bring conference participants up to date with current environmental aspects of mining and highlight new frontiers.

Keynote speaker: Bernhard DOLD (Chile)


4.2 Global geochemical mapping: understanding chemical Earth (The 2nd Arthur Darnley Symposium)


David SMITH (USA), Xueqiu WANG (China) and Patrice DE CARITAT (Australia)

Documenting and understanding the current abundance and spatial distribution of chemical elements in different compartments of the Earth's near-surface environment (e.g., soils, sediments, surface and groundwater) are essential first steps in being able to recognize and quantify natural or human-induced changes in the future. This session will focus on recently completed, or ongoing, geochemical mapping studies involving any of the above sample media. Although the primary focus of the session is on national- and global-scale geochemical mapping, we also welcome contributions from studies conducted at a more local or regional scale.

Keynote Speakers: Christopher JOHNSON (UK) and Xueqiu WANG (China)


4.3 Advances in the evaluation and interpretation of geochemical data at the continental scale

  Eric GRUNSKY (Canada) and Patrice DE CARITAT (Australia)

Geochemical survey data are typically derived from multiple government surveys using a range of analytical methods and sampling media. The diversity of such data, along with its compositional nature (closure problem), can create difficulties with the integration, evaluation and interpretation over large regions. This session will highlight the advances in the application of statistical methods, including the compositional nature of the data and spatial analysis to provide meaningful interpretation for both geological mapping and environmental monitoring at regional/continental scales.

4.4 Medical geology

  Kimberly DOWLING (Australia) and José CENTENO (USA)
That the environment affects our health has long been recognised. However to understand the complex relationships between environment and health the collaboration of professionals in the fields of both medicine and geology is essential and this topic seeks presentations from people working in both these fields. Presentations addressing health issue such as those associated with: dust; gold and mercury; manganese mining; urban settings; etc have been proposed and papers on other topics are invited.


4.5 Geopullution, dust, and man made strata [ includes IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management (GEM) Working Group on Dust] 

  Brian MARKER (UK) , Jonas SATKUNAS (Lithuania) and Hisashi NIREI (Japan)

Man-made formations (strata) are widely distributed in urbanised and adjacent areas as a result of anthropogenic activities. Such strata comprise cultural layers, landfills, waste management sites, abandoned industrial land, mine tailings, non-remediated pollution sites and other formations accumulated without proper environmental management, monitoring and treatment. These formations contain a variety of pollutants, are geotechnically weak, unstable and unpredictable and can be subject to severe liquefaction and landsliding during earthquakes. Therefore, man-made strata can have multiple problems and environmental implications, which must be better understood and managed.

Theme 5. Geoscience Information


Coordinators: Bruce SIMONS (Australia), Simon COX (Australia), Robert TOMAS (Europe), Richard HUGHES (UK), June HILL (Australia) and Lesley WYBORN (Australia)

This major Theme encompasses spatial data infrastructure and regional geoinformation initiatives; interoperability and standards; delivery, dissemination and exploitation of geoscience data and information; mathematical geology and geostatistics; model fusion, visualisation, exploration and 3D & 4-D modelling; tools – software, hardware, open source and super computers. Further details, including proposed sessions and convenors, are provided here.



5.1 Geoscience spatial data infrastructure
5.3 has been merged with 5.1

  Bruce SIMONS (Australia) and Robert TOMAS (Czech Republic)

This will comprise sessions on regional geoscience information activities and developments from Oceania, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. The latest news from geoscience-related spatial data infrastructure development around the world, with particular reference to the pan-European INSPIRE initiative, the North American GIN and Geoconnections initiatives and the Australian AuScope project.

5.2 Information management – interoperability and standards

  Simon COX (Australia) and John LAXTON (UK)

Geoscience information management best practice and standards for digital and analogue data; thesauri, dictionaries, vocabularies, ontologies and semantics. Development and application of information exchange formats underpinning interoperability (GeoSciML, GML, EarthResourceML, OGC and other standards), mapping data models to standards; successes, best-practice and lessons learnt.

5.4 Tools – software, hardware, open source

  Peter BAUMANN (Germany)

Information technology challenges and solutions in the geosciences; data management and assimilation on the petabyte scale; high performance computing, cloud and grid technologies in the geosciences. Digital mapping techniques and methodologies, digital data capture and digital workflows from field to output; digital cartography techniques and standards.

5.5 Model fusion, visualisation, exploration and 3D & 4D modelling

  Laurent AILLERES (Australia) Holger KESSLER (UK) and Mark JESSELL (France)

Progress and developments in linking process- and time-dependent models across the environmental science disciplines towards the development of predictive environmental modelling platforms. 2-, 3-, 4- and n-D geoscience information, modelling and immersive visualisation systems; error and uncertainty in such systems; deployment of such systems in geological surveys and agencies.

5.6 Mathematical geosciences [International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (IAMG)]


June HILL (Australia) and Ricardo OLEA (USA)

Applications of geomathematical analysis and modelling in the field of resource exploration. New advances and methodological challenges in the analysis of spatial, time-dependent and compositional geoscience data. Application of geostatistical and geomathematical methodologies and tools to the interpretation of geochemical data, remotely sensed data, rock anisotropy, and climate data.

Keynote speakers: Margaretha SCOTT (Australia), Roussos DIMITRAKOPOULOS (Canada),
Katsuaki KOIKE (Japan), Helmut SCHAEBEN (Germany), Juan José EGOZCUE (Spain), Michael GURNIS
(USA), Christopher SCOTESE (USA), Donald SINGER (USA), Cedric GRIFFITHS (Australia) and
Steve REDDY (Australia)

Theme 6. Energy in a Carbon Constrained World

Coordinators: Peter COOK (Australia) and David LUMLEY (Australia)

Global demand for energy continues to grow strongly but at the same time pressure mounts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the impacts of rapid climate change. Symposia will explore issues and options for future energy use including: the future of fossil fuels; carbon capture and storage; geothermal energy including exploration and resource characterisation: renewable energy resources; nuclear energy – including uranium and thorium resources and demand, and nuclear waste disposal.


6.1 CO2 geosequestration


David LUMLEY (Australia), Kevin DODDS (USA) and John KALDI (Australia)

This Symposium concerns the long-term geological storage of CO2 in the earth’s subsurface and includes issues related to site selection; reservoir characterization; storage assessment; containment security; measurement, monitoring and verification systems; uncertainty and risk; and resource conflicts.

Keynote speakers: Charles JENKINS (Australia), Don WHITE (Canada), Michael KUHN (Germany), Susan HOVORKA (USA) and Mark TRUPP (Australia)


6.2 Geothermal resources


Anthony BUDD (Australia), T HARINARAYANA (India), Greg BIGNALL (New Zealand) and Klaus REGENAUER-LIEB (Australia)

This Symposium concerns the use of geothermal resources as a clean energy option, and includes issues relate to site selection; resource characterisation; geologic uncertainty and risks, monitoring systems, resource conflicts; and delivery of geothermal energy to end users.

Keynote speakers: Doone WYBORN (Australia), Greg BIGNALL (New Zealand) and Klaus REGENAUER-LIEB (Australia)

6.3 Nuclear energy and waste disposal

  Charles MCCOMBIE (Switzerland), Andrew ORRELL (USA), John WATERHOUSE (Australia), Tomas PACES (Czech Republic) and Peter WIKBERG (Sweden)

This Symposium concerns geoscience challenges associated with the expanding use of nuclear energy. Topics to be covered include resource exploration; site selection for nuclear facilities, in particular for repositories for nuclear waste disposal; environmental remediation, and monitoring systems. A special focus will be on geologic risks and uncertainties.

6.4 Clean energy: options and limitations

  Peter COOK (Australia), Sally BENSON (USA) and Mike SANDIFORD (Australia)

Clean energy options include wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, wave, CCS, nuclear etc., each with advantages and limitations, including geological uncertainties, resource supply and waste disposal.  Each of the options will be considered in a series of presentations and a panel discussion of leading experts to evaluate clean energy options for 2050 and beyond.

Theme 7. Mineral Resources and Mining

Coordinators: Graham CARR (Australia) and Dale SIMS (Australia)

This Theme will include a global perspective on mineral resources; leading edge technologies for increased automation and decreased wastes and mine site pollution; high technology commodities for the future; industrial minerals; advances in in-mine geophysics; resource definition, modelling, estimation and reporting; resource development techniques and issues over a range of commodity types; specialist sessions on industry issues and case studies for uranium, iron ore, diamonds, nickel, base metals, sampling and geometallurgy; future sources of industrial and construction materials.



7.1 New age metals: the geology and genesis of ores required for a changing economy and a carbon constrained world [Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA)]


David HUSTON (Australia) and Bernd LEHMAN (Germany)

This Symposium will consider the geology and genesis of ore deposits containing metals used in technologies needed in a carbon constrained world. Although these metals, which include lithium and the rare earth elements, among others, have traditionally been niche markets, they are anticipated to become economically and strategically more important, and, hence, more attractive exploration targets. To provide a background on these important deposits, the program would include: 1) papers on the economics and metallurgy of new age metals;  2) descriptions of the geology and origin of important deposits; and 3) global and regional syntheses of the ages and geodynamic settings of these deposits.

Keynote speaker: Roderick EGGERT (USA) 

7.2 Future sources of industrial minerals and construction materials


John SIEMON (Australia), Björn SCHOUENBORG (Sweden) and Lola PEREIRA (Spain)

A Symposium considering the important industrial rock and mineral resources which allow mankind to maintain its standard of living and those which in the future may allow a sustainable standard.  Papers are invited on the following topics: 1) currently important and potential industrial rocks and minerals in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania; 2) the geology of commodities such as lithium, rare earths, mineral sands, magnesite, clays, fertiliser minerals, manganese, silica and gemstones; and 3) aspects of the usage of construction materials and building stones.


7.3 Resource and reserve reporting, international codes and the valuation of mineral assets


Peter STOKER (Australia) and Charlotte GRIFFITHS (Switzerland)

The public reporting of Resource and Reserve estimates is undertaken under an array of codes and guidelines which vary depending on geographic location and commodity under consideration. A global movement to increase the standardisation of reporting codes is in progress. Similarly codes have been developed to guide the valuation of mineral prospects, discoveries and operations. This Symposium discusses these issues with case studies in reporting and valuation. The current status of international codes will be discussed and there will be a session on national reporting.

Keynote speakers: Michael LYNCH-BELL (UK), Deborah McCOMBE(Canada), Harry PARKER (USA), Yuri
PODTURKIN (Russia), and Jim ROSS (UK)

7.4 Resource modelling, estimation and visualisation for project and mine development

  Scott DUNHAM (Australia) and Rodrigo MELLO (Brazil)

Geological modelling and resource estimation are critical inputs to new projects and existing operations to ensure efficient mineral extraction and hence maximized economic performance. Visualisation of models and estimation outcomes assists in the communication of key issues and risks to relevant stakeholders including mine planners and operators. This symposium will review recent advances in these areas through a series of focused case study presentations and papers discussing core skills development, leading edge technology, modelling techniques and estimation processes.

7.5 Mining geology, technology, geophysics and geometallurgy

  Dale SIMS (Australia) and Simon DOMINY (UK)

This Symposium will contain case studies of significant mining operations from around the globe examining aspects of optimised resource development through the application of leading edge technologies, geological practices and multidisciplinary approaches. These include mining geology analysis and best practice, advances in drilling technology and in-situ measurement, in-mine geophysics for resource definition at a mining scale, and geometallurgy to predict and plan for processing, throughput and product variability. In all these areas, sound data collection, analysis and geological understanding is the key to significant gains in operational performance.


7.6 The future mine and geoscience

  Jock CUNNINGHAM (Australia) and Alberto ELFES (USA)

The trend for future mine operation is to locate operators to remote or centralised sites.  This will require high levels of automation and teleoperation.  Geo-sensors will be used to communicate the geology including mineral distribution, topography, rock condition/geotechnical and grade.  Such sensors exist, are emerging or are being researched.  In addition, methods of presentation must be developed to provide the operator with the contextual perception necessary for operation.  Even if the operator is not remote, this level of geo-sensor technology will be useful and will allow a transformation in the way mines are operated.  These data, combined with automation technology will allow real-time sensing of an evolving excavation, mineral-tracking mining equipment, automated grade control and real-time upgrades to mine plans.  This seminar will explore the requirements and state of the art of geologically intelligent mining process.


7.7 Qualitative and quantitative methods of assessing undiscovered mineral resources

  Subhash JAIRETH (Australia), Mike CUNNINGHAM (Australia), Susan HALL (USA) and Stephen PETERS (USA)

The focus of the Symposium is on qualitative and quantitative methods of assessment of undiscovered mineral resources. This information is critical for land-use decisions, long and short-terms resource availability and for developing exploration programs and strategies for significant commodities such as rare-earth elements (including scandium and yttrium) lithium, chromium, cobalt, antimony. Papers are invited on methods, methodologies and case studies focusing on land-use decisions.

Theme 8. Mineral Exploration Geoscience

Coordinators: Cam MCCUAIG (Australia) and David GILES (Australia)

This Theme will address the science of mineral exploration against the backdrop of increasing global demand for mineral resources. Indicative Symposia topics include: mineralising systems; the science of exploration targeting; exploration geophysics; advances in geochemical exploration; 3D geology and geophysics in targeting; deep exploration and discovery; quantifying and managing uncertainty and risk in exploration, and declining exploration success rates; major discovery case histories; exploration trends and emerging mineral districts.



8.1 Footprints of mineralised systems: new concepts and data for exploration


Roger SKIRROW (Australia), Richard TOSDAL (Canada) and Zengqian HOU (China)

Major ore deposits are the products of regional to crustal scale geological systems, and leave evidence of their formation as tell-tale footprints in geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets.  However, the characteristic footprints of many types of mineralised systems are not well documented at the district to regional scales, despite years of studies of individual ore deposits.  This Symposium will consider the geological, geochemical and geophysical signatures, and their significance, of major mineralised systems from deposit through district to regional and crustal scales.  The emphasis will be on signatures of practical application in exploration, and particularly those footprints useful in exploring covered terranes.  Reports on studies of broad-scale hydrothermal effects and the associated signatures in geochemical, hyperspectral and geophysical datasets, will be welcome, as will be contributions on the structural and magmatic footprints of major mineralised systems.

Keynote speakers: David COOKE (Australia) and Rob HOUGH (Australia)


8.2 The science of exploration targeting

  Cam MCCUAIG (Australia), Graham BEGG (Australia) and Zengqian HOU (China)

This Symposium will focus on exploration targeting as a distinct discipline in its own right, lying at the conjunction of several subdisciplines – e.g. traditional earth science and economic geology, mineralising systems, decision making under uncertainty, human-data interaction and mineral economics. Talks will emphasise examples of the integration of these subdisciplines in targeting mineral and energy resources, and novel approaches in approaching the challenge of delineating future mineral districts.

8.3 Probing the Earth from near-surface to the mantle - techniques, modelling software and case histories to aid mineral exploration

  Richard LANE (Australia), Ken WITHERLY (USA), Bob MUSGRAVE (Australia), Asbjorn CHRISTENSEN (Australia), Hans-Juergen GOETZE (Germany) and Ned STOLZ (Australia)

A variety of geophysical techniques can be utilised at many different scales to aid mineral exploration. This Symposium will provide a forum to showcase recent developments in geophysical acquisition and processing techniques, modelling software, and application case histories.

8.4 Advances in geochemical exploration

  David COHEN (Australia), Ravi ANAND (Australia), Ryan NOBLE (Australia), David LAWIE (Australia), Graham CLOSS (USA), Andrew RATE (Australia) and Mark ARUNDALL (Australia)

This session will cover recent advances in exploration geochemistry, including; methods for exploring in regions with transported or deeply weathered cover; development of analytical and data processing methods linked to new models for geochemical dispersion in such terranes; alternate sampling media or sample processing methods to conventional methods; isotope applications.  Case studies from various geochemical landscapes from the deeply weathered to the glaciated are invited.


8.5 Exploration and discovery: diagnosis and prognosis ­- are we in need of cure? [Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA)]


David HUSTON (Australia) and Mike HULEATT (Australia)

Over the two decades or so the mining industry has seen an apparent drop-off in exploration success. Symptoms of this problem have been a decrease in the discovery of tier one discoveries for a large range of commodities and a significant increase in the cost of discovery. The purpose of this Symposium is to document this problem and propose solutions. Topics to be considered include: 1) temporal changes in exploration success rates; 2) the role of maturity in exploration success; 3) impediments to exploration: geological and political; 4) the philosophy of resource acquisition in the mining industry; and 5) exploration into to future: can new technologies and concepts improve success rates?

Keynote speaker: Richard SCHODDE (Australia)

Theme 9. Mineral Deposits and Ore Forming Processes

Coordinators: Ross LARGE (Australia) and Cornel DE RONDE (New Zealand)

Understanding the controls on the distribution and formation of ore deposits is critical to future discovery of new ore deposits. Symposia will include: major mineral provinces of the world; mineral alteration halos; tectonics and ores in magmatic arcs; magmatic sulfides; basin-hosted ores; dating of ore deposits; geometallurgy; iron oxide copper gold ( IOCG) - the unhappy family; volcanic hosted metal sulphide (VHMS) deposits; sediment-hosted base metal and gold deposits; structure and gold; and submarine mineralisation.




9.1 Orogen to district-scale structural and tectonic controls on porphyry and epithermal deposits


Dick GLEN (Australia), David COOKE (Australia), Reimar SELTMANN (UK) and Eduardo CAMPOS (Chile)

This Symposium is seeking contributions regarding processes and geometries that lead to the formation of porphyry and epithermal deposits, with a particular emphasis on geodynamic and structural phenomena in oceanic island arcs, continental arcs, and also collisional and post-collisional settings. Such controls vary from plate scale, such as changes in plate settings, coupling across subduction zones or even hiatuses in subduction, to the structural scale, controlling the resulting architecture of collision and thus the formation of orogen- parallel and orogen-normal magma pathways. We are also seeking contributions that evaluate the scale-dependency of these phenomena, from crustal through regional to district and deposit-scales. 

Keynote speaker: Richard TOSDAL (Canada)

9.2 Volcanic and basin-hosted ores (Fe, Zn-Pb, Cu, U)

  Bruce GEMMELL (Australia), Cornel DE RONDE (New Zealand), Stuart BULL (Australia) and David LEACH (USA)

Volcanic, volcano-sedimentary and sedimentary basins host many of the world's major ore deposit types (e.g. VHMS, SEDEX, MVT, roll front U, etc.).  In addition, the modern ocean floor yields significant new information on the tectonic and depositional processes in these environments and sheds light on the genesis of many of these deposit types. This Symposium is intended to give an update on the tectonic, depositional and ore genetic features of the many deposit types that form in these environments. We are looking for contributions on the geology and genesis of the variety of deposits that form in volcanic, volcano-sedimentary and sedimentary basins. This Symposium will also compare and contrast what has been discovered on the modern seafloor to the ancient rock record. Industry participation is encouraged.

9.3 Dating of ore deposits     

  Anthony HARRIS (Australia), Sebastien MEFFRE (Australia) and Alain CHEILLETZ (France)

Contributions will outline the novel application of geochronology applied to ore deposits. This will include the interpretation of multiple chronologic techniques in order to constrain the events important to ore deposit formation, including the timing and duration of fluid flow in and around world class ore systems.

9.4 Iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits; the unhappy family   

  Gary DAVIDSON (Australia), Roberto XAVIER (Brazil) and Murray HITZMAN (USA)

The iron oxide copper-gold deposit style is the most recently recognised of the major ore deposit types. There is still significant debate on genesis of IOCG deposits, and upon the validity of application of the classification to a number of deposits around the world. This session is intended to provide a forum for a global debate on these questions. We anticipate that the diversity of contributions will include deposit description, breakthroughs in geochemical characteristics, and classification assessment. We urge all contributors to include a statement of how their study impacts on these two major questions of genesis and classification.

9.5 Sediment and/or greenstone-hosted gold [Society of Economic Geologists]

  Ross LARGE (Australia), Steve COX (Australia) and Richard GOLDFARB (USA)

We welcome papers on the nature and genesis of sediment-hosted gold deposits, including Carlin type, turbidite-hosted, disseminated black shale hosted and orogenic deposits. Papers which debate the source of gold, timing of gold and processes involved in gold concentration are most welcome.

9.6 Global sulfur cycle and impact on metallogenesis   


Andy TOMKINS (Australia), Iain PITCAIRN (Sweden) and Katy EVANS (Australia)

Formation of many of the Earth’s mineral deposits was intimately tied to the global sulfur cycle because their metals are chalcophile or are carried in hydrothermal fluids as sulfide complexes. In recent years there have been significant advances in understanding the global sulfur cycle and how it has changed over time, and some researchers have started to apply this to improving global tectonic models and secular models for ore deposit genesis. This session is intended to further develop this research direction and welcomes contributions that advance our knowledge of the global sulfur cycle and that show us how this has influenced mineral deposit formation and their secular distribution.


9.7 Mineral deposits: episodes, accumulation of metals and related geodynamic processes in China and adjacent regions [IAGOD / IGCP-592]


Jingwen MAO (China), Franco PIRAJNO (Australia) and Reimar SELTMANN (UK)

China, central Asian countries, Russia and Mongolia, and the eastern Eurasia continental margin, host a great variety of mineral systems, such as VHMS, porphyry-skarn, epithermal Au-Ag, orogenic lodes, orthomagmatic deposits in mafic-ultramafic complexes, vein-type polymetallic deposits, granite–related tin deposits. The Tethyan domain from southwestern China, westward to Iran and Afghanistan, and to southeast Asia, hosts mineral deposits comprising porphyry and porphyry–skarn Cu-Au-Mo, vein type Pb-Zn-Ag, Au and Sb lodes, and rare earth minerals in carbonatites. This session will provide a unique opportunity for geologists from all over the world to do comparative studies in the Eurasian countries.

Keynote speakers: Richard J. GOLDFARB (USA), Weidong SUN (China) and Reimar SELTMANN (UK)

9.8 Regional metallogeny, ore genesis and other mineral deposits 


Ken McQueen (Australia)

This symposium presents studies of mineral deposits from and the regional metallogy of significant mineralised provinces in Australia (including the Tasmanides and other provinces), China, North America, Central Asia, Russia, Brazil, Africa, and Europe.  There is a particular focus on  uranium, nickel, platinum group metals, and iron ore deposits, and different types of mineralisation that complement the deposit types and commodities presented in other symposia in Theme 9. The symposium also includes studies of gold, base metal and polymetallic deposits of different types, and examines fundamental processes controlling mineralisation.

9.9 Giant and super giant orebodies
[Society of Economic Geologists]


David COOKE (Australia), PEI Rongfu (China) and Richard GOLDFARB (USA)

Giant and supergiant orebodies fascinate ore deposit researchers and explorers alike. Are these deposits formed by the same processes that generate smaller deposits? Have ore-forming processes operated at peak efficiency only at certain times and in certain locations in Earth history? How do we predict the location of giant deposits, and can we predict how many are likely to be formed and preserved? This session will review the geology and genesis of, and exploration for, the world's giant and supergiant ore deposits. We encourage explorers to provide exploration case histories on giant deposits, and academic researchers to discuss the likely causes for their formation, location and preservation.

Keynote speakers: Ross LARGE (Australia) and Karen KELLEY (USA)

Theme 10. Coal - a Myriad of Resources

Coordinator: Joan ESTERLE (Australia)

As well continuing to play its essential role in global power production and steel making, new industries based on coal resources, such as coal seam gas, are emerging. Indicative Symposia topics include coking and thermal coal; water issues in coal mining and coal seam gas production; advances in coal mining; coal quality issues; new and emerging coal technologies including underground coal gasification.


10.1 Finding resources, making reserves


Joan ESTERLE (Australia)

This Symposium examines advances in our traditional thinking about what makes a coal resource, and more importantly a coal reserve, as new deposits come into the market to face the increasing demand for power and feedstocks. Topics will include novel exploration techniques and/or geological concepts that have or will assist in coal resource discoveries, and 3D-4D geophysical and geological modelling from exploration to geotechnical assessment. Predictive models for coal quality at mine scale will be examined and using geological studies to optimise mining activities from exploration through to rehabilitation.

Keynote speakers: Lawrie JORGENSEN (Australia), Cliff MALLETT (Australia) and Hua GUO (Australia)


10.2 Coal - a record of change


Robert LANGFORD (Australia)

Coal will continue to be an important part of the energy mix of many countries. This Symposium will bring together researchers to examine coal as a record of climate change and tectonism throughout geological history. Topics will include the tectonic controls on basin subsidence and coal seam architecture, and the spatial and temporal variability in coal character in response to climate change through time. Other topics will include stratigraphic modelling of coal measure systems and groundwater flow within coal measure systems and how well they are understood.

Keynote speakers: Peter McCABE (Australia), Steve GREB (USA), Lopo VASCONCELOS (Mozambique) and Ian METCALFE (Australia)

Theme 11. Petroleum Systems and Exploration

Coordinators: Marita BRADSHAW (Australia), Chris URUSKI (New Zealand) and Sylvia ANJOS (Brazil)

Global demand for petroleum continues grow, driving the search for resources to new frontiers as well as the need to extract petroleum as efficiently as possible from existing basins. Indicative topics include petroleum geoscience - advances in seismic applications, petroleum geochemistry, other geophysical techniques, and applications of palaeontology; frontier petroleum basins - extending exploration in time and drilling depths; southern hemisphere petroleum prospectivity; enhanced oil recovery - horizontal drilling, reservoir fracturing, chemical methods, water/CO2 injection and re-injection; petrophysics - pressure, permeability and rock property predictions; advances in petroleum exploration - new ideas on prospectivity, basin modelling, source rock models, reservoir modelling; putting the geo into geophysics – use of potential fields in interpreting economic basement, structure and reservoir presence/quality, seismic sequence analysis, facies mapping and depositional environments.



11.1 Petroleum prospectivity of divergent and transform passive margin basins of North and South Atlantic, Arctic, India and Australasia

  Marita BRADSHAW (Australia) and Luciano MAGNAVITA (Brazil)

Case studies and general papers on the petroleum prospectivity of proven and frontier basins located on passive margins of North and South Atlantic, Arctic, India and Australasia are invited.


11.2 Pacific rim petroleum system architecture

  Chris URUSKI (New Zealand), Hermann LEBIT (USA), Bruce AINSWORTH (Australia), Lawrence MECKEL (Indonesia) and Ian BREWER (USA)

Case studies and general papers on the petroleum prospectivity of proven and frontier basins located on the Pacific Rim – Australasia, South East Asia, North Asia, North and South America, and the Pacific islands.


11.3 Petroleum system modelling; geochemistry, basins and source rock

  Rob FUNNELL (New Zealand)

Papers are invited on petroleum geochemistry, basin modelling and source rock models.

11.4 Petroleum reservoir modelling, seals and enhanced oil recovery (EOR)


Carlos Henrique BRUHN (Brazil) and Robert SEGGIE (Australia)

This Symposium will cover petrophysics, reservoir characterization and modelling, and reservoir management and enhanced oil recovery.


11.5 Petroleum exploration in frontier basins


Irina BORISSOVA (Australia), Francois BACHE (New Zealand) and Sylvia ANJOS (Brazil)

Frontiers are in new basins, and also new concepts in old basins. Papers are invited on extending exploration into new water depths, drilling depths and stratigraphy.

Keynote speakers: Phil RICHARDS (UK) and Marina RABINEAU (France)

11.6 Putting the geo into geophysics - adding clout through better datasets and joint interpretation


Ron HACKNEY (Australia), Jörg EBBING (Norway), Hans-Jürgen GÖTZE (Germany) and Bernd LAHMEYER (Norway)

Papers are invited on advances in the application of seismic, gravity, magnetic and electromagnetic data to basin studies and petroleum exploration, particularly the combination and joint interpretation of multiple data types.

Keynote speaker: Lucy MacGREGOR (UK)

Theme 12. Unconventional Hydrocarbons Emerging Fuels

Coordinators: James UNDERSCHULTZ (Australia) and Ingo PECHER (New Zealand)

Unconventional hydrocarbon, notably shale gas and coal seam gas, have become a vital component of the North American domestic gas supply and are touted to have high potential to be the same in Europe, China, India and southeast Asia. In Australia, coal seam gas production is on the verge of a step change in production to supply a new LNG export industry. However, unconventional gas development has not been without its critics and environmental concerns. What are the lessons learned in North America and how can these be applied elsewhere? Technological advancement in oil sands and enhanced oil recovery has made these resources competitive even at low oil prices. CO2 enhanced recovery has the potential to add value not only in increased production but also as carbon storage in an emerging global carbon market. Symposia will focus on the unconventional hydrocarbons and their emergence as important future sources of energy including: transport fuels; coal seam gas, resources and extraction and water production and management; shale gas and tight gas resources and potential; and, gas hydrates, the ultimate unconventional hydrocarbon.



12.1 Coal seam gas


Mohinudeen FAIZ (Australia) and Romeo FLORES (USA)

Over recent years, coal seam gas has become fundamental to supplying the North American gas market and is so prevalent that in some circles it is no longer considered ’unconventional’. Elsewhere, coal seam gas is considered a significant emerging unconventional resource. In Australia, CSG development is on the verge of driving a new LNG export industry. However, many uncertainties remain. This Symposium seeks contributions on coal seam gas that address the following topics: 1) enhanced coal seam methane (CO2 injection or microbial enhancement); 2) reservoir production engineering (stimulation, multiphase flow, geomechanics); 3) resource characterisation; 4) produced water utilisation, quality, etc; 5) fugitive methane; 6) risk of regional subsidence; 7) infrastructure optimisation, environmental impact and public engagement; 8) lessons learned from North America with applications to the rest of the world; and 9) public engagement: can we do better?

Keynote speaker: Rob WILLINK (Australia)


12.2 Shale and tight gas

  Dan MOOS (USA) and Scott TINKER (USA)

Over the last years, shale gas and tight gas have seen dramatic increases in their importance in the North American domestic gas market. However, it has not been without its critics and public controversy regarding its environmental credentials. Elsewhere, shale and tight gas are considered to have significant potential as an emerging unconventional resource. However, many uncertainties remain. This Symposium seeks contributions on shale gas and tight gas that address the following topics: 1) resource characterisation and potential; 2) reservoir production engineering (stimulation, multiphase flow, geomechanics); 3) where does tight gas stop and shale gas start?; 4) water requirements and environmental impact; 5) lessons learned from North America, applications to the rest of the world; and 6) public engagement: can we do better?

12.3 Gas hydrates

  Reem FREIJ-AYOUB (Australia) and Ingo PECHER (New Zealand)

Perhaps in the category of most unconventional of the hydrocarbon resources, gas hydrates define large resource estimates. However, exploration for and production of such resources face significant challenges. This Symposium seeks contributions on the following topics: 1) resource characterisation and potential; 2) reservoir production engineering (stimulation, multiphase flow, geomechanics); 3) geohazards; and 4) case studies.


12.4 Heavy oil and oil shale

  Rick RICHARDSON (New Zealand) and Darrell COTTERILL (Canada)

From lightly biodegraded to oil sands, heavy oil forms a significant portion of the world’s oil reserves. Advances in extraction and processing technology have made this resource competitive even at lower oil prices. CO2 enhanced recovery has the potential to not only increase production but to also sequester greenhouse gas, which has value in an emerging global carbon market. This Symposium seeks contributions on: 1) resource characterisation and potential; 2) reservoir production engineering (stimulation, multiphase flow, geomechanics); 3) CO2 enhanced oil recovery; 4) environmental impacts and mitigation; and 5) case studies.

Theme 13. Sedimentation and Sedimentary Processes

Coordinators: Chris FIELDING (USA) and Peter MCCABE (Australia)

Sedimentary basins host the world's hydrocarbon resources and substantial mineral resources. Indicative topics include geological basin evolution; sequence stratigraphy; clastic sedimentation; modern sedimentary processes; sedimentation in foreland, forearc, rift and strike-slip basins; sequence stratigraphy; large scale stratigraphic correlations; biostratigraphy; stratigraphic databases; diagenesis; evaporites; isotope and chemostratigraphy; sedimentary organic matter in modern and ancient systems.



13.1 Continental depositional systems


Peter MCCABE (Australia) and Colin NORTH (UK)

Papers are invited on facies and stratigraphy of lacustrine, fluvial, aeolian and other continental environments as well as on the broader tectonic and climatic controls on depositional systems.

Keynote speakers: Kathryn AMOS (Australia), Chris FIELDING (USA) and Colin NORTH (UK)

13.2 Deposits of coastal and shallow marine systems


Bruce AINSWORTH (Australia), Julien BOURGET (Australia) and Rachel NANSON (Australia)

Topics covered in this Symposium include deltas, wave- and tide-dominated shorelines and shelves as well as the role of sea-level change, sediment supply and subsidence in determining stratigraphic architecture.

Keynote speakers: Ron Steel (Austin) and Craig SLOSS (Australia)

13.3 Deepwater sedimentation


Peter KING (New Zealand) and Greg BROWNE (New Zealand)

Papers are invited on stratigraphy and sedimentology of submarine slopes, base of slope systems, and pelagic deposits. The emphasis of this Symposium will be on evolution through the stratigraphic record.

Keynote speaker: Bret DIXON (USA)

13.4 Depositional controls on reservoirs


Simon LANG (Australia)

This Symposium will address the sedimentological aspects of reservoir architecture and performance – permeability, compartmentalisation, etc. The focus will be on oil and gas reservoirs and reservoirs for carbon storage.

Keynote speaker: Shaun SADDLER (Australia)

13.5 Applied ichnology


Kerrie BANN (Canada) and James MACEACHERN (Canada)

This Symposium invites papers that deal with the use of trace fossils and trace assemblages to address sedimentological, stratigraphic and exploration-related problems.

Keynote speakers: Murray GINGRAS (Canada) and Charles E. SAVRDA (USA)

13.6 Sedimentation in icehouse versus greenhouse epochs



Papers are invited on contrasting stratigraphic stacking patterns, and the abundance and nature of specific facies in icehouse and greenhouse climate settings.

Keynote speakers: Martin KENNEDY (Australia), Daniel LeHERON (UK) and Isabel MONTANEZ (USA)

13.7 Modelling sedimentary systems


Cedric GRIFFITHS (Australia), Jan Harff (Poland) and Daniel Tetzlaff (USA)

This Symposium will cover numerical, physical and experimental modelling of natural surface systems.

Keynote speaker: Tristan SALLES-TAING (Australia)


13.8 Global controls on sediment accumulation    


Chris FIELDING (USA) and Jan HARFF (Germany) 

Papers are invited on all aspects of the sedimentary responses to external forcing factors, including eustasy, oceanic anoxia, extinctions, and environmental change.

Keynote speaker: Mary KRAUS (USA)

13.9 River-dominated shelf sediments in Asian seas


Peter CLIFT (UK), Jan HARFF (Germany) and Qiu YAN (China)

River-dominated shelf sediments in Asian seas play a crucial role in understanding the interplay of tectonically and climatically induced continent-ocean particle fluxes.  These relatively thick sequences display in high resolution changes in the southern oscillation and the monsoon dynamics during the Late Quaternary and in particular the Holocene. Biogeochemical cycles on time scales from millennia to decades can be reconstructed by the application of multi-proxy concepts combined with advances dating techniques, and mapping procedures using offshore geophysical methods. The session invites sedimentologists, paleoceanographers, and –climatologists to discuss recent developments in the reconstruction of the Quaternary land-ocean-interface in Asia.

Keynote speakers: Chuck NITTROUER (USA), Till HANEBRUTH (Germany) and Shu GAO (China)

Theme 14. Basin Formation and Continental Margin Processes

Coordinators: George GIBSON (Australia) and Francois ROURE (France) [International Lithosphere Program Task Force on sedimentary basins]

Basin formation is integral to the processes that operate at passive and active continental margins, including transform (sheared) continental margins. Indicative Symposia topics include basin formation at passive and active continental margins; transform (sheared) continental margins; basement control and structural inheritance; seismic and geophysical imaging of margins; role of magmatism, detachment structures and mantle involvement; preservation of continental margin structures during subsequent orogenesis; and geological basin evolution.



14.1 Linking multiple scales of deformation for basin modelling


Christian HEINE (Australia), Peter JAPSEN (Denmark) and Simon WILLIAMS (Australia)

Contributions are invited on all aspects of numerical and computational modelling  relating to the following subjects: 1) Paleostress models and observations; 2) Linking regional plate kinematics to basin formation and evolution; 3) Advances in lithospheric extension modelling; and 4) Regional basin models – present status and future challenges.

Keynote speakers: Olivier LACOMBE (France), Malcolm ROSS (USA), Marta PEREZ-GUSSINYE (UK),
Cinthia LABAILS (Norway), Patrick UNTERNEHR (France) and Mark B. ALLEN (UK)


14.2 Convergent margin sedimentary basins


Francois ROURE (France) and Kevin HILL (Australia)

Contributions are invited on all aspects of sedimentary basin formation and evolution related to the following convergent margin settings: 1) Circum-Pacific/southern hemisphere compressional basins; 2) North American Cordillera and sub-Andean basins; 3) Peri-Tethyan, circum-Mediterranean and Alpine forelands and foothills; and 4) Paleozoic compressional basins and intracratonic inverted basins.

Keynote speakers: Jean-Paul CALLOT (France), Ken McCLAY (UK-Chile), Alison ORD (Australia) and
Jean-Claude RINGENBACH (France)

14.3 Divergent and transform passive margins: observations, imaging and case studies


Magdalena SCHECK-WENDEROTH (Germany), Jennie TOTTERDELL (Australia), Christophe BASILE (France) and Jean MASCLE (France)

Contributions are invited on all aspects of sedimentary basin formation and evolution in rifted continental margins, including sheared (transform) passive margin settings for the following regions: 1) Atlantic and Arctic Oceans; 2) Australasia and greater Oceania region; 3) Indian and Pacific Oceans; and 4) Incipient passive margins and precursor intra-continental rifts and basins.

Keynote speakers: Gianreto MANATSCHAL (France) and Ritske HUISMANS (Norway) 

14.4 Passive to hyper-extended continental rift margins in the geological record: their recognition, diagnostic elements and comparison with present-day analogues


George GIBSON (Australia) and Gianreto MANATSCHAL (France)

Contributions are welcomed on the recognition, characterisation and preservation of hyper- extended continental margins in the geological record and whether such margins only occur in younger as opposed to Precambrian orogenic belts. Two sessions are planned: 1) Exhumed mantle lithosphere and preservation of the ocean-continent transition in orogenic belts – case studies; and 2) Continental rift margins and processes through time – comparative studies of Precambrian versus modern day analogues. Contributions addressing aspects of the tectonic, magmatic, sedimentary and thermal evolution of such margins may wish to make reference to well studied modern analogues where margin geometry and thermal structure have been investigated through seismic and geophysical imaging.

Keynote speakers: Geoffroy MOHN (France) and Gwenn PERON-PINVIDIC (Norway) 

Theme 15. A Dynamic Earth


Coordinators: Dietmar MÜLLER (Australia)

Symposia in this theme will address the processes and driving mechanisms that have shaped the distribution of the continents and the formation of ocean basins, island arcs and microcontinents through geological time. Likely topics include global geodynamics; evolution of the plates and plate tectonic history; exploration geodynamics; the accretion and break-up of super-continents; subduction processes and mechanisms, linking deep earth and surface processes; understanding deep earth structure and rheology; and major impact events and their significance.



15.1 Plate tectonics, plate-mantle coupling and associated deformation


Maria SETON (Australia) and Giampiero IAFFALDANO (Australia)

This Symposium covers a range of topics from advances in models for relative and absolute motions of the major plates on Earth, which largely behave rigidly, and thus conform to classical plate tectonic theory, to plate- mantle interaction and long-term plate deformation. It is focused on advances in amalgamating regional and global data sets for improved constraints on plate tectonic models, as well as on recent advances that allow us to move beyond classical plate tectonics, in terms of including large-scale, long-term plate deformation into regional or global tectonic models. The Symposium also covers Large Igneous Provinces, looking at their origin, timing, and effects, as well as new insights into the driving forces of absolute plate motions.

Keynote speakers: Douwe van HINSBERGEN (Norway), Jean-Pierre BURG (Germany), Franco PIRAJNO
(Australia), Tim STERN (New Zealand), Mike SANDIFORD (Australia), Olivia LACOMBE (FRANCE) and Ray RUSSO (USA)

15.2 Large asteroid impacts and crustal evolution


Andrew GLIKSON (Australia), Don LOWE (USA), Vic GOSTIN (Australia) and Peter HAINES (Australia)

The regional to global effects of large asteroid impacts, including seismic, tectonic and atmospheric effects, are highlighted by studies of the Vredefort, Sudbury, Chicxulub, Morokweng, Popigai, Chesapeake Bay, Acraman and Woodleigh structures and impact ejecta units, with implications for early crustal evolution and the mass extinction and radiation of species.

Keynote speakers: Don LOWE (USA), John SPRAY (Canada), Jay MELOSH (USA),  Kathleen GREY (Australia), Adam GARDE (Denmark) and Jan SMIT (Netherlands)

15.3 Evolution and dynamics of the Indo-Australian Plate


Myra KEEP (Australia) and Wouter SCHELLART (Australia)

The aim of the Symposium is to take a multidisciplinary approach to examining the evolution and geodynamics of the Indo-Australian Plate. We aim to bring together researchers from around the world working on all aspects of the Indo-Australian Plate including those working on geographic regions from the Himalayas-Tibet, the Sunda-Banda Arc, all the way over to New Zealand.

Keynote speakers: Manuel PUBELLIER (France) and Mark CLOOS (USA)


15.4 Linking deep earth to plate tectonic and surface processes


Dietmar MÜLLER (Australia), Mike GURNIS (USA) and ZHAO Yue (China)

Recent advances in linked plate kinematic-geodynamic models, coupled with advances in using a diversity of geological and geophysical data to constrain model boundary conditions and outputs, have resulted in a growing interest in exploring the contribution that mantle convection makes to changing surface topography, driving associated erosion, sedimentation and transgressive-regressive cycles. Intriguing questions include: What are the time-dependence, spatial patterns and magnitudes of these phenomena? Small-scale convection in the upper mantle has recently been highlighted as a potential driving force of oscillations basin uplift and subsidence, but the question arises what the minimum amplitude of mantle-driven vertical surface motion is in order to leave a signal in the geological record that we can observe. Which sorts of data are best suited for extracting these signals from the geological record? Which subtle expressions of these processes in relatively flat-lying continental areas or in sedimentary basins do we need to measure to advance the observational aspects of this rapidly evolving research field?

Keynote speakers: Alessandro FORTE (Canada), Mike GURNIS (USA), Huw DAVIES (UK), Trond TORSVIK (Norway), Paul WESSEL (USA), Hans-Peter BUNGE (Germany), Wim SPAKMAN (Netherlands), Claudio FACCENNA (Italy), Clint CONRAD (USA), John TARDUNO (USA), Jean BRAUN (France), Steve GRAND (USA), Gabi LASKE (USA), Shanan PETERS (USA) and Kenni PETERSEN (Denmark) 


15.5 Orogens and orogenesis: accretionary, cordilleran and collisional processes, products 


Patrice REY (Australia), Richard GLEN (Australia), Christian TEYSSIER (USA) and Zengqian HOU (China)

This Symposium is dedicated to all orogenic styles (cordillera, accretionary, collisional) and all orogenic processes from subduction (oceanic and continental), to accretion, to collision growth and collapse. It welcomes contribution from field geologists (sedimentology, structural geology, metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, geochronology and thermochronology), to geophysicists (seismologists, geodynamicists, physical and numerical modelling etc.).

Keynote speakers: Taras GERYA (Switzerland), Louis MORESI (Australia), David STEGMAN (USA), Laurent HUSSON (France), Fabio CAPITANIO (Australia), Brad HACKER (USA), Aral OKAY (Turkey),
Olivier VANDERHAEGHE (France), Roberto WEINBERG (Australia), Ian METCALFE (Australia), Nick MORTIMER (New Zealand), Graciano YUMUL (Philippines), Ron HARRIS (USA), Richard GLEN (Australia) and Ian WITHNALL (Australia)

Theme 16. The Deep Earth

Coordinators: Sue O’REILLY (Australia) and Bill GRIFFIN (Australia)

Symposia will include: the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary including its physical and geochemical nature, formation and evolution: fluids in the lithospheric mantle including their composition, distribution and significance; the crust-mantle lithosphere system including their definition, formation, evolution and geodynamics; and deep earth circulation addressing the heterogeneity and flow patterns of the deeper mantle, its changes through time involving subduction recycling, lithosphere formation and preservation, and the importance of this circulation through Earth's history; and advances in seismic imaging.



16.1 The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary: nature, formation and evolution from Hadean to now


Craig O’NEILL (Australia) and Manel FERNANDEZ (Spain)

The nature of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is critical to understanding the geodynamic and geochemical evolution of Earth, yet its definition is still controversial. In this Symposium we aim bring together experts in all in seismic tomography and potential-field analysis, mantle geochemistry, and numerical modelling of dynamic processes in the Earth to investigate how the lithosphere and underlying mantle have behaved through time. Integrating information from these different types of datasets, will advance discussion of the constraints that help us elucidate the character and location of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary in the present-day and older Earth.

Keynote speaker: David MAINPRICE (France)

16.2 Fluids in the lithospheric mantle


Alan JONES (Ireland) and Anne POMMIER (USA)

Available samples of the lithospheric mantle beneath oceans and continents bear witness to the passage of fluids, modifying the composition and the physical state of the mantle. This Symposium will be an opportunity to explore the composition, origin and effects of metasomatic fluids in the deep lithosphere, as well as their geochemical and geophysical signatures. It will also consider the nature and distribution of fluid pathways in the mantle, and the application of geophysical methods such as seismology and MT to image these pathways. Another important issue is the question of where fluids reside when they are not moving, and especially the role of nominally anhydrous minerals.

Keynote speakers: Jörg HERMANN (Australia) and Stéphane RONDENAY (USA)

16.3 The crust-mantle lithosphere system


Bill GRIFFIN (Australia), Ramon CARBONELL (Spain), Adrian LENARDIC (USA) and Norman PEARSON (Australia)

This Symposium will address the problems and the potential rewards of treating the lithosphere as an integrated system. It will investigate the degree to which the generation of the continental crust and lithospheric mantle are linked, and the effects of these linkages on the evolution of tectonic regimes through time and space. Approaches to understanding this system will include methods for dating events in the deep crust and lithospheric mantle, the geochemical evidence for the evolution of the crust-mantle system, the geophysical definition of crustal and crust-mantle boundaries, and geodynamic modelling of the distribution and location of continents through time.

Keynote speaker: Mike BROWN (USA)

16.4 Deep earth circulation


Shijie ZHONG (USA), Julian PEARCE (UK), Leonid DUBROVINSKY (Germany) and Jingsui YANG (China)

This session ties together recent advances in imaging, high-pressure experiments, seismology and geodynamic modelling to understand the deep circulation system of the mantle. Global tomography and MT models give insights into heterogeneity and flow patterns in the deeper mantle, and laboratory work highlights the existence of the post-perovskite phase in the deepest mantle. Changes in styles of volcanism and tectonics through time also can reflect deep Earth processes. The integration of geodynamic modelling with observational constraints allows a deeper understanding of the global deep circulation systems, the interaction of fluids and chemical heterogeneities with solid-state convection, and the importance of this circulation through Earth's history.

Keynote speakers: Michael GURNIS (USA) and Matthew G. JACKSON (USA)

16.5 Lithosphere structure from ambient noise and other seismology


Michael RITZWOLLER (USA), Ling CHEN (China), Yingjie YANG (Australia) and Juan Carlos AFONSO (Australia)

Ongoing improvements in seismic observations and imaging methodologies have produced increasingly detailed images of the lithosphere and sublithospheric upper mantle, providing important information on regional tectonics, lithospheric deformation, and the physical state of the upper mantle. Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) overcomes some limitations of earthquake-based methods and provides higher-resolution information about the lithosphere, especially the crust and uppermost mantle. ANT has been applied on its own, or combined with earthquake tomography to generate high-resolution images of the lithosphere. This Symposium welcomes contributions that use one or more seismic approaches, or multidisciplinary geophysical methods, to image the lithospheric and sublithospheric structures in various geological settings and scales. 

Keynote speakers: Donald W. FORSYTH (USA) and Brian KENNETT (Australia)

Theme 17. The Early Earth: Hadean and Archean Development of a Habitable Planet

Coordinators: Vickie BENNETT (Australia), Malcolm WALTER (Australia) and Martin VAN KRANENDONK (Australia)

This Theme will cover the Hadean and Archean eons and will cover topics such as accretion of the solar system and the giant Moon-forming event; development of the oceans and atmosphere; Hadean crust and the early formation of continents; Archean tectonics: the role of plumes versus plates in crust development; evolution, diversity and habitats of early life; and the Archean-Proterozoic transition: its timing and significance.



17.1 Building planet Earth – the first 500 million years


Vickie BENNETT (Australia) and Tony KEMP (Australia)

This session will investigate major events and processes in early Earth history, using a range of geochemical observations from the modern and ancient rock and mineral record, as well as experimental and modeling results. Key topics include: the compositions, volumes and physical properties of the crust; mechanisms of continent formation and recycling; the evolution of volatiles and oceans; early terrestrial sedimentary environments; the persistence and influence of Hadean reservoirs in the younger geologic record; the possible role of impacts and magma oceans in creating chemical reservoirs; and new discoveries of Hadean and early Archean rocks and minerals.

Keynote speakers: Craig O'NEILL (Australia), Tsuyoshi IIZUKA (Tokyo), Oliver NEBEL (Australia) and Allen NUTMAN (Australia)

17.2 Rates and mechanisms of Archean crust formation – the relative contribution of plume versus plate tectonics

  Patrice REY (Australia), Kent CONDIE (USA) and Martin VAN KRANENDONK (Australia)

Archean Earth was hotter than present and formed crust that has some fundamentally different characteristics, along with features recognisable in terms of uniformitarian plate tectonics. Just how different was crust formation on early Earth – and did it form through a variety of processes? What were the relative contributions of mantle plumes and arc-accretion to crustal growth and how did warmer, softer, more radioactive crust contribute to differences in tectonic style? What was the relationship between these processes and how did they relate to mineralisation?

17.3 The habitats and paleobiology of early life on Earth, and the rise of oxygen

   Malcolm WALTER (Australia), Dave WACEY (Australia) and Ariel ANBAR (USA)

Topics will include all aspects of life on Earth up to the time of the Great Oxidation Event in the early Paleoproterozoic. Relationships between life and its environment will be emphasised. What is the oldest convincing evidence of life? When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve? Did eukaryotes evolve during the Archaean? Are there systematic relationships between particular biomarkers and specific palaeoenvironments? What new techniques are shedding light on these and other questions?

17.4 Early Earth geodynamics and evolution – uncovering links between changing early Earth and biological diversification

  Martin Van KRANENDONK (Australia), Ian CAMPBELL (Australia) and Craig O’NEILL (Australia)

We invite participants to discuss how life evolved and changed in concert with the geodynamic evolution of Earth through the Archean and into the earliest Paleoproterozoic. Specific focus will be on: changes in crust forming processes and tectonics and how they affected the S-isotope system and development of microbial habitats in subaerial environments; changes through the late Archean that led to an explosion in microbial life, large excursions in all of the isotopic tracers of life processes (chaos in the biosphere), and the initial rise of oxygen.

17.5 The origin and settings of Archean mineral systems

  Nicolas THÉBAUD (Australia), Wolf MAIER (Finland) and Kevin CASSIDY (Australia)

Preserved Archean mineral systems (Au, Ni-PGE, iron ore, VMS) are localised products of much larger Earth processes. This Symposium aims to discuss the importance of the nature and architecture of lithospheric-scale processes on the formation of mineral systems, and their development within the changing geodynamic evolution of the early Earth.

Theme 18. The Proterozoic Earth

Coordinators: Peter BETTS (Australia) and Martin HAND (Australia)

The Proterozoic eon is characterised by major and rapid continental growth and accretion, supercontinent cycles and extensive orogenic activity. Symposia will cover all aspects of Proterozoic crustal evolution including magmatism, sedimentation and metamorphism; metallogeny; oxygenation of the Earth; and geodynamics and plate tectonic reconstructions.




18.1 Building the Australian continent


Richard BLEWETT (Australia) and Dorothy CLOSE (Australia)

The Proterozoic era records the amalgamation of primary building blocks of the Australian continent and episodes of continental re-organisation. Tectonic models related to this geological era are controversial. This Symposium will have geological, geophysical, and geochemical studies, at all scale, which contribute to understanding how the Australian continent was built.

Keynote speakers: Russell KORSCH (Australia) and David HUSTON (Australia) 


18.2 The Neoproterozoic Earth


Martin KENNEDY (Australia), Louis DERRY (USA) and Nicholas CHRISTIE-BLICK (USA)

The Neoproterozoic is an intriguing era of Earth history, recording the geological record of supercontinent dispersal and re-amalgamation, severe glaciations, atmospheric transitions, and the earliest fossils of multi-cellular life. This Symposium will cover all aspects of this amazing period of Earth evolution.

Keynote speakers: Shuhai XIAO (USA) and Nick CHRISTIE-BLICK (USA)


18.3 Proterozoic supercontinents, processes, models, myths, and possibilities


 Zheng-Xiang LI (Australia)   

The Proterozoic era records two supercontinent cycles. This Symposium will explore all aspects of supercontinent amalgamation, dispersal, and geodynamic processes associated with Proterozoic supercontinents.

Keynote speakers: Shihong ZHANG (China), Richard ERNST (Canada) and Bruce EGLINGTON (Canada)


18.4 Proterozoic magmatism: implication for tectonic models


Kent CONDIE (USA) and Justin PAYNE (Australia)

Proterozoic magmatism has underpinned tectonic models for Proterozoic crustal evolution for decades. In this Symposium detailed geochemical studies of Proterozoic terranes and geological provinces, as well as continental and global geochemical synthesis will be presented in the context of constraining tectonic models.

Keynote speaker: Wouter BLEEKER (Canada) 

18.5 Metallogenic systems of the Proterozoic


Franco PIRAJNO (Australia) and Tom BLENKINSOP (Australia)

Metallogenesis in the Proterozoic era is characterised by an extremely diverse metal systems and associated geodynamic settings. This Symposium will include all aspects of Proterozoic metal system including detailed deposit studies, regional tectonic controls of mineralisation, as well as temporal and spatial metal associations.

Keynote speakers: Kurt KYSER (Canada), Simon JOHNSON (Australia) and Steffan HAGEMANN (Australia)

Theme 19. Geochronology and Isotope Geology

Coordinators: Paulo VASCONCELOS (Australia), Donald DEPAOLO (USA) and Igor VILLA (Switzerland)

This Theme provides the opportunity for researchers working at the forefront of isotope geochemistry and geochronology to showcase advances in instrumentation and analysis, present new exciting applications, and explore the fundamental role of isotope geochemistry in the understanding and quantification of geological and cosmological processes.


19.1 Advances in isotope geochemistry and geochronology


Sue GOLDING (Australia), Yuri AMELIN (Australia) and Igor VILLA (Switzerland)

Understanding the processes that transformed a cloud of interstellar gas into our solar system, the only planetary system that is known to sustain life, is one of the key steps in the quest for our origins. It is now known that most stars are born in complex processes that occur in clusters within giant molecular clouds, and that accreting protoplanetary disks can be influenced not only by interaction with their young central star, but also by addition of matter from nearby massive stars. The solids that formed very early in the solar nebula accretion sequence: Ca, Al-rich refractory inclusions (CAIs), millimetre-sized spherules of silicate minerals (chondrules) and igneous meteorites (achondrites), serve as time markers for the early stages of accretion, and for the processes that influenced accretion. We seek contributions on decoding thermal and chemical evolution of the solar nebula, and formation of planetesimals and planets, from state-of-the-art isotopic dating and tracing of the solar system’s early solids. These data will help to identify internal and external factors that influenced accretion and planet formation in our solar system, precisely link these processes to the absolute time scale, and deduce the likely stellar environment in which these processes have occurred.


19.2 Dating our recent past - analytical methods in Quaternary geochronology and paleoclimatology

  Jian-xin ZHAO (Australia), Chuan-Chou (River) SHEN (Taiwan), and Gangjian WEI (China)

Increased worldwide concerns with recent global climate and environmental changes have stimulated considerable interest in Quaternary research – the study of the Earth’s environment over the last 2 million years. Technological advances in Quaternary geochronology and geochemical and isotope proxy-based palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction over the last few decades have also contributed to revolutionizing Quaternary research. The Quaternary Era lends itself to the largest number of dating methods, including long-lived and short-lived radioisotopes (e.g., radiocarbon, K-Ar and 40Ar/39Ar, U-series, cosmogenic nuclides), radiation exposure dating (e.g., TL, OSL, ESR, fission-track dating), relative dating (e.g., AAR), as well as dating using annual banded records (e.g., dendrochronology). In addition to chronometric techniques, recent advances have been made in the use of various geochemical and isotope proxies for palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, such as carbon-oxygen-sulfide isotopes, clumped isotopes, boron isotopes, etc. for the studies of palaeotemperature, precipitation, seawater alkalinity and recent acidification and other environmental parameters. The development of various techniques has focused on improving the analytical precision and accuracy of determinations, on improving the sensitivity and reducing the size of sample required for measurements, on increasing sample throughput, on high-resolution in situ analysis, and on developing new tools. This Symposium is open to all Quaternary chronometric and geochemical-proxy-reconstruction techniques, as well as the innovative applications of such techniques to novel questions.


19.3 Dating landscape evolution - low-temperature thermochronology and cosmogenic nuclides

  Paulo VASCONCELOS (Australia), Ken FARLEY (USA), Paul BIERMAN (USA) and Andrew GLEADOW (Australia)

Recent advances in low-temperature geochronology and thermochronology and cosmogenic isotope studies have revolutionized the study of surficial processes. Improvements in AMS techniques, novel approaches in noble gas and radiogenic isotope research, automation in fission track measurements, and the calibration of cosmogenic nuclides production rates now permit the quantitative study of the upper 2 km of the Earth’s crust to an unprecedented level of accuracy and precision. This Symposium will showcase new developments in low-temperature thermochronology, geochronology, and cosmogenic nuclide methodologies and illustrate novel applications of these methods in the quantification of surficial processes.

Theme 20. Planetary Sciences

Coordinators: Graziella CAPRARELLI (Australia), Monica PONDRELLI (Italy), Charles LINEWEAVER (Australia), James HEAD (USA) and Phil NICHOLSON (USA)

This Theme will address the processes and driving mechanisms that have led to the formation of planetary systems and their evolution, with particular emphasis on the formation of the solar system from the solar nebula, its physical and cosmochemical evolution, the formation and evolution of planets, the onset of life and its distribution in the solar system and in the universe. Likely topics will include the composition of the solar nebula and its early dynamics; the formation of planets; the cosmochemistry of planetary bodies, small objects and meteorites; planetary interiors; modelling of geodynamical processes on terrestrial planets; tectonism, volcanism, meteoritic impact history and surface processes on terrestrial planets; planetary atmospheres; the exploration of the solar system and results from recent space missions to planets and satellites; early life and astrobiology; terrestrial analogues; geological mapping of terrestrial planets; planetary databases; exoplanets.



20.1 Terrestrial Planets and Habitability

  Graziella CAPRARELLI (Australia), Jesus MARTINEZ-FRIAS (SPAIN), Angelo PIO ROSSI (Germany) and Monica PONDRELLI (Italy)

This symposium looks at all aspects of formation, geological evolution, astrobiological potential, and habitability of all types of bodies of the solar system using ground based observations, mission data sets, cosmochemistry data, terrestrial analogs and theoretical models.


20.2 Radar in planetary exploration


Roberto OROSEI (Italy) and Jani RADEBAUGH (USA)

GPR and SAR radars contribute to our knowledge of the distribution of ice on Earth and Mars, and of the geology of outer solar system planetary bodies, such as Titan. This Symposium welcomes contributions in all areas of radar technology applied to the remote observation of solar system objects. 

Keynote Speakers: Roberto OROSEI (Italy) and Ralph LORENZ (USA)

20.3 Lunar research and exploration in the 21st century


Robert PIDGEON (Australia) and Jennifer HELDMANN (USA)

Three decades after the Apollo missions ended a renewed interest in lunar research and exploration recently culminated with a host of successful missions. This Symposium welcomes contributions based on results from Kaguya, Chang’e, Chandrayaan, LRO-LCROSS, LADEE, GRAIL missions, as well as new results from the geochemical analysis of lunar samples.

Keynote speakers: G. Jeffrey TAYLOR (USA) and David KRING (USA)

Theme 21. Magmatism Settings, Compositions and Processes

Coordinators: Janet HERGT (Australia) and Jon BLUNDY (UK)

This Theme will incorporate field-based, geochemical, experimental and modelling studies of magmatism – both ancient and modern – arranged according to magmatic setting. It will include granite petrogenesis and metallogenesis; granites in space and time; subduction zone magmatism including a special session on magmatism in the SW Pacific; active volcanism; ocean ridge and all forms of intraplate magmatism (e.g., kimberlites) and large igneous provinces.



21.1 Bruce Chappell Symposium. Felsic magmas: petrogenesis to metallogenesis 


Phil BLEVIN (Australia), Bruce CHAPPELL (Australia) and Shunso ISHIHARA (Japan)

Many processes have been proposed to account for the details of formation of granitic rocks, and the generation of compositional variation within granite suites. Source protolith compositions, and the operation of various differentiation mechanisms are also critical in establishing the chemistry and intensive parameters of magmas that control their metallogenic associations and potential, including high heat producing varieties. This Symposium will focus on developments in the understanding of the origin of granites and related rocks (including volcanics); their distribution in time and space; controls on their compositional character and variation; their role in the evolution of the crust; and the development of igneous metallogenic provinces.

Keynote speaker: Colleen BRYANT (Australia), David CHAMPION (Australia) and Phil BLEVIN (Australia)

21.2 Granite versus orogenic style

  Bill COLLINS (Australia) and Bernard BONIN (France)

Throughout the Phanerozoic, two contrasting orogenic systems have existed on Earth. One is associated with Wilson cycles and has produced the Eurasian orogens, including the Caledonides, Variscides, Uralides, Altaids and the Himalayas, all dominated by post-collisional granites. The other system is associated with circum-Pacific subduction, producing vast cordilleran batholiths of the Americas and the Tasmanide granites of eastern Australia, among others. In this session, we wish to investigate the differences in geochemical character and temporal evolution of granites within this context of contrasting orogenic systems, and to examine if the context can be extended through the Precambrian.

21.3 Subduction zone magmatism including a special session on magmatism in the SW Pacific


Richard WYSOCZANSKI (New Zealand), Monica HANDLER (New Zealand) and Colin WILSON (New Zealand)

Magmatism in subduction zones reflects processes that are central to understanding the origin and evolution of the continents throughout Earth’s history. The relative roles and importance of new crustal generation versus recycling, and the controls on magma generation and compositions with consequent beneficial aspects (e.g. economic mineralisation) and hazards (large-scale explosive volcanism) are still controversial. This Symposium covers all aspects of magmatism in subduction zones and seeks contributions that address major questions remaining in this area. We particularly welcome contributions on the subduction systems of the SW Pacific where contrasts between continental and oceanic subduction magmatism are clearly defined.

Keynote speakers: Jon BLUNDY (UK) and Richard ARCULUS (Australia) - Special session of magmatism
in the SW Pacific


21.4 Magmatism in extensional environments (continental rifts and MORB)


Trevor FALLOON (Australia) and Yaoling NIU (UK)

This Symposium will explore new advances in our understanding of magmatic compositions and processes involved in the initiation of continental rifting, leading to continental breakup and the eventual development of major ocean basins. We therefore especially invite contributions related to continental rifts, and mid-ocean ridge spreading environments. A special focus of this theme will be new understandings related to the timing of melt generation, migration, crystallization and cooling of magmatic rocks in these environments. However all aspects of magma petrogenesis are welcome.

Keynote speaker: Kenneth RUBIN (USA)


21.5 Intraplate magmatism, including ocean island basalts, continental basalt provinces, kimberlites and lamproites


Ben COHEN (Australia), Ian MCDOUGALL (Australia) and Godfrey FITTON (UK)

This Symposium will examine the advances in our understanding of the processes involved in the generation of oceanic and continental intraplate magmas, including kimberlites and lamproites. Of particular interest is the role, or not, of mantle plumes in the generation of intraplate magmas. Some (e.g., Hawaii) appear to require anomalously hot mantle, but evidence for high-temperature mantle is apparently lacking in most. To what extent can intraplate magmatism be explained through fertile domains in the asthenosphere or lithospheric mantle? Do mantle plumes carry a diagnostic geochemical signature? What can geochronology and paleomagnetism tell about the time-space distribution of intraplate magmatism? Submissions addressing these, and other issues relating to the petrogenesis and geochemistry of intraplate magmatism, are welcomed for this Symposium.

Keynote speakers: Anthony KOPPERS (USA) and Paul WESSEL (USA)

21.6 Large Igneous Provinces and their impact on the lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere


Scott BRYAN (Australia), Steve SELF (UK) and Ingrid UKSTINS-PEATE (USA)

Large igneous provinces (LIPs) represent episodic, catastrophic igneous events throughout Earth history. They are distinguished by high intensity bursts of principally mantle-derived magma to the crust and surface over geologically short timescales. LIP volcanism had a major impact on the lithosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and consequently has been implicated as a driving factor in environmental change based on the temporal relationship with several mass extinction events through the Phanerozoic. Not only can individual eruptions pose a significant hazard through atmospheric loading of volcanic aerosols, but elevated eruption frequency and the potential for synchronous mafic ± silicic large-magnitude (>M8) eruptions mean that environmental change may be exacerbated by the cumulative effects of multiple eruptions, both direct and indirect. Over the last 10 years, proposed mechanisms for environmental change include volcanic CO2 or S emissions, gas emissions from clathrate or hydrocarbon disturbance, and Fe fertilisation of oceans from ash loading. This Symposium seeks cross-disciplinary contributions from the Earth, atmospheric, climate, and biological sciences that are investigating the lithospheric to atmospheric impact of LIPs. Contributions focusing on assessing the integrated impact and the rates and mechanisms of Earth system response to LIP magmatism are encouraged.

Keynote speakers: Sverre PLANKE (Norway) and Richard ERNST (Canada)

Theme 22. Metamorphic Rocks and Processes

Coordinators: Jörg HERMANN (Australia), Geoffrey CLARKE (Australia) and Simon HARLEY (UK)

Metamorphic rocks provide insight into plate tectonic processes and fluid-rock interactions acting in the Earth’s crust. The Symposia in this theme will include how metamorphic reactions monitor changes in the physical and chemical properties of the crust; constraints on fluid compositions from near surface alteration to subduction zone and collisional metamorphism to ore formation; and geochemical constraints on timescales of metamorphic processes. We encourage contributions from a wide range of disciplines such as modelling of phase equilibria, geochronology, geochemistry, experimental and metamorphic petrology and structural geology.



22.1 From ocean floor to subduction zone metamorphism


Katy EVANS (Australia), Phillipe AGARD (France), Carl SPANDLER (Australia), Marco SCAMBELLURI (Italy) and Jörg HERMANN (Australia)

The compositional and rheological characteristics of altered oceanic lithosphere are a key control on element and volatile budgets delivered to subduction zones, released by slab devolatilization in forearc and subarc environments and returned to the deep mantle. High- and ultra high-pressure metamorphism, seismicity, arc magmatism, high-pressure rock exhumation and mountain building are processes allied with subduction-zone metamorphism and fluid activity. This interdisciplinary Symposium aims to bring together a wide range of research including experimental studies, modelling, and the use of oceanic and high-pressure rocks, mantle wedge materials and arc rocks as natural laboratories to elucidate the relationships between recycling processes, mass transfer and tectonics in subduction zones. Particular emphasis will be given to processes and effects related to 1) formation and alteration of the oceanic lithosphere and element cycles in oceans; 2) devolatilization and fluid escape from subducting slabs 3) the subduction zone cycle for volatiles and fluid mobilized elements and inferences for arc and within plate magmatism 4) mechanisms of fluid migration and mass transport; (v) subduction and exhumation tectonics. 

Keynote speakers: Brad HACKER (USA) and Stefano POLI (Italy)


22.2 Rates of metamorphic processes


Geoff FRASER (Australia), Ethan BAXTER (USA) and Sue BALDWIN (USA)

This session is concerned with quantifying rates of natural metamorphic processes, and the duration of metamorphic and tectonic events. Contributions may include theoretical, numerical and experimental constraints on processes such as heat transfer, cation diffusion and reaction kinetics, as well as natural examples in which rates and durations are constrained by petrological, geochronological or thermochronological analyses. Contributions spanning the full range of metamorphic facies and metamorphic/tectonic settings are welcome.

Keynote speakers: Daniela RUBATTO (Australia) and Mark CADDICK (Switzerland)


22.3 Mechanisms of metamorphic reactions and fluid-rock interaction


Andrew PUTNIS (Germany), Lukas BAUMGARTNER (Switzerland), Bill CARLSON  (USA) and Jay AGUE (USA)

Metamorphic reactions and interactions of fluids with metamorphic rocks take place across a range of scales and may proceed by means of a wide variety of mechanisms. This Symposium will explore these mechanisms in fluid-deficient to fluid-saturated environments, in both experimental and natural systems. Contributions to any aspect of this topic are welcomed, including but not limited to investigations of: processes, kinetics, and timescales of mineral reactions and fluid-rock interaction; diffusional and advective transport of elements and fluids; methods of quantifying elemental and fluid fluxes; heat transport by fluid flow; and consequences for the interpretation of metamorphic rocks and orogenic belts.

Keynote speakers:  Håkon AUSTRHEIM (Norway) and David PATTISON (Canada)


22.4 Quantification of extreme metamorphism and implications for tectonics


Chris CLARKE (Australia), Brad HACKER (USA), Yong Fei ZHENG (China) and Yasu OSANAI (Japan)

Over the past decade, there have been significant advances in our ability to extract pressure, temperature and time information from orogenic belts that culminate in high-pressure or high-temperature metamorphism. Linking reliable age information with robust P–T information enables one to define well-constrained P–T–t paths, and to quantify rates of heating and cooling, and burial and exhumation.  These data provide a framework to discriminate among tectonic models for orogenesis, particularly in relation to the mechanisms of formation and exhumation of ultrahigh high-pressure metamorphic belts and the mechanisms of heating of high-temperature metamorphic belts. This Symposium integrates field-based and modelling studies in petrology, geochemistry, geochronology and tectonics.  Of particular interest are contributions that integrate multiple techniques to understand orogenic processes involving extreme pressure or temperature.

Keynote speakers: Tim LITTLE (New Zealand) and David KELSEY (Australia)


22.5 Anatexis


Geoffrey CLARKE (Australia), Michael BROWN (USA), Bernardo CESARE (Italy) and Gary STEVENS (South Africa)

Anatexis is the most important process affecting the Earth's crust. It occurs in the deep crust of arcs along convergent plate margins, and in collisional mountain belts and orogenic plateaus, as recorded by extensive migmatite and granulite terranes now exposed at Earth's surface. As melt develops on the edges and faces of mineral grains it affects rock strength and strain rate, which has important consequences for the way the crust deforms and the style of orogenic belts. During the Phanerozoic anatexis was potentially an important component in the exhumation of rocks from ultrahigh pressure mantle conditions after continental subduction, and during the Archean partial melting of subducted or sagducted basaltic crust gave rise to granite types that are rare on Earth today. The nature of the source and the conditions under which melting occurs determine the character of the resulting melts, as exemplified by secular change in granite type and the relationship between tectonic setting and granite chemistry. The extraction and ascent of melt led to the redistribution of elements in the crust, and was responsible for the large-scale compositional and density structure that stabilized the continents over geological time. This session deals with all issues relating to anatexis, including the source of the heat responsible for widespread melting and the information that can be retrieved from mineral assemblages and microstructures in partially melted rocks. It will explore the mechanisms of melt transfer and the large-scale geodynamic consequences of partial melting in diverse settings. Contributions that use or integrate data from field observations, petrology, melting experiments, geochemistry, geophysics, and thermodynamic, numerical and analogue modelling are welcome.

Keynote speakers: Edward SAWYER (Canada), Fawna KORHONEN (Australia), Gary STEVENS (South
Africa) and Fernando BEA (Spain)


22.6 Accessory phases and trace elements in metamorphic processes


Daniela RUBATTO (Australia), Nigel KELLY (USA), Ian BUICK (South Africa), Simon HARLEY (UK) and Thomas ZACK (Germany)

Accessory minerals play a vital role in understanding metamorphic processes, as chronometers and thermometers, as sensors of fluid/rock interaction and constraints on fluid sources, as monitors of the length- and timescales of metamorphic equilibration, and in determining the extent of crustal recycling. In this session,  we welcome contributions that provide experimental, geochronological, thermodynamic, trace element and isotopic constraints on the stability and growth histories of accessory minerals across a range of metamorphic  grades and settings; their chemical  and  isotopic  partitioning with  the major metamorphic rock-forming minerals: and  the extent  to which this information is  preserved through contrasting  metamorphic  P-T-t histories.

Keynote speakers: Emilie JANOTS (France) and Steve REDDY (Australia)

Theme 23. Evolution of the Biosphere

Coordinators: John LAURIE (Australia) and Andrew Knoll (USA)

This theme will explore the events, processes and drivers which have influenced the evolution of life and how life has influenced the evolution of the planet. Likely Symposia topics include the Ediacaran and the Cambrian explosion; Paleozoic biofacies, biogeography and bioevents; evolution of hominins; oxygen and evolution; Archean life; Gondwanan Mesozoic vertebrates; Mesozoic bioevents; origin and evolution of marsupials; early vertebrate evolution; Cenozoic marine environments; modern techniques in paleontology; and general paleontology.



23.1 Martin Glaessner Symposium: The Ediacaran and the Cambrian Explosion


  John LAURIE (Australia), Glenn BROCK (Australia) and Guy NARBONNE (Canada)

Martin Glaessner (1906-1989) was professor of palaeontology and geology at the University of Adelaide and did much early work on the Ediacaran biota. This Symposium aims to cover the differences and similarities between the Ediacaran biota and that characterised by the explosive diversification during the early and middle Cambrian.


23.2 General

  Alex Cook (Australia), Alexander NUTZEL (Germany),  Ian PERCIVAL (Australia), Tony WRIGHT (Australia) and Guang SHI (Australia)

This Symposium will cover all aspects of palaeontology not covered by other Symposia, especially new discoveries, new interpretations and new techniques in paleontology. 


23.3 Evolution of hominins

  Colin GROVES (Australia), Chris STRINGER (Australia) and Darren CURNOE (Australia)

This Symposium will cover all aspects of the evolution and distribution of extant and extinct members of the Tribe Hominini.


23.4 Proterozoic life


Kathleen GREY (Australia) and Malgosia MOCZYDLOWSKA-VIDAL (Sweden)

At the beginning of the Proterozoic there were few, if any eukaryotes, but by the end of the eon the first metazoan had appeared and life had begun to invade the land. This Symposium aims to cover all that happened in the interim. In contrast to the rest of the Proterozoic, there is considerable data on the Cryogenian and Ediacaran that is promising for global correlation and that will impact on decisions about stratigraphic boundaries. An overview of the Proterozoic as a whole is timely.

Keynote speakers: Emmanuelle JAVAUX (Belgium) and Joe KIRSCHVINK (USA)


23.5 Mesozoic bioevents and Gondwanan Biotas


Benjamin KEAR (SWEDEN), Thomas RICH (Australia), David HAIG (Australia), Stephen MCLOUGHLIN (Sweden) and Mikael SIVERSSON (Australia)

The Mesozoic vertebrates of the Gondwanan continents had a Pangaean heritage, but with the separation of Gondwana from Laurasia during the Mesozoic, the vertebrates on Gondwana developed a distinctive character.  The Mesozoic was bracketed by the two largest extinction events ever to have befallen life on earth and the modern biota still reflects the winners and losers of those events. However, there are many more subtle events within the Mesozoic, the results of which are still evident. This Symposium aims to cover all aspects of these events and this evolutionary trajectory.

Keynote speaker: Louis JACOBS (USA)

23.7 Origin and evolution of marsupials

  Michael ARCHER (Australia) and Suzanne HAND (Australia)

It would be a glaring omission for the IGC not to contain a Symposium on the evolution of the marsupials, given that it is being held in the continent where marsupials dominate the native mammalian fauna. It aims to cover all aspects of their origin and evolution.


23.8 Cenozoic marine environments


Stephen Gallagher (Australia) and Bridget WADE (UK)

This Symposium is designed to cover the use of palaeontological data in the understanding of palaeoceanography, palaeoecology, patterns of evolution and extinction, temperature and sea level fluctuations, as well as global ice volume.

Keynote speaker: Paul N PEARSON (UK)

Theme 24. Reefs and Carbonates

 Coordinators: Gregory E WEBB (Australia) and Noel P JAMES (Canada)

Carbonate rocks made by organisms, from reefs and microbialites to bioclastic grainstones and chalk, record ecological, environmental and biogeochemical information through time at daily to geological time scales. Corals and coral reefs in particular inform our understanding of Pleistocene/Holocene and, potentially, future climate change while ancient carbonate rocks allow the investigation of secular changes in eustasy, marine chemistry and biology that allow us to establish baseline behaviour for broader Earth system dynamics. This theme invites contributions that fall within Symposia on: modern reefs and climate change; fossil reefs; microbial carbonates, including stromatolites; and secular changes in carbonate sedimentology and geochemistry.



24.1 Reefs and Carbonates – secular changes including climate

  Gilbert CAMOIN (France), Vinod TEWARI (India), Annette GEORGE (Australia) and Bradley OPDYKE (Australia)

Modern coral reefs provide integrated sequential records of sea-level along with quantitative palaeoclimatic and palaeoceanographic data within the geochemistry of sediments and skeletons of reef-builders. We invite submissions that: 1) showcase the use of modern reef studies to inform our understanding of Quaternary climate; 2) document new case studies of climate effects preserved in reef carbonates; and 3) introduce new techniques for investigating the effects of climate change on reefs.


24.2 Ancient reefs

  Jody WEBSTER (Australia)

Fossil reefs provide a wealth of information about secular changes in the Earth system and biological evolution and they have a special place in studies of palaeoecology because reef-building organisms are commonly preserved in growth position with significant evidence of ecological interactions preserved intact. We invite submissions that cover the broad spectrum of reefs and reef-builders through time, their broader tectonostratigraphic settings and importance and their economic significance.


24.3 Understanding microbial carbonates


Gregory E WEBB (Australia)

This session focuses on the significance of microbial carbonates for understanding long-term changes in ocean-atmosphere chemistry and carbonate sedimentation. It emphasizes recent research on the processes of formation, macro- and microfabrics, geochemistry, and sedimentary roles of microbial carbonates; in particular the factors that determine their abundance and distribution in space and time. We welcome presentations on all aspects of these topics based on present-day and ancient examples in terrestrial, fluvial, lacustrine, and marine environments - including reefs and carbonate mud mounds.

Keynote speaker:  Malcolm WALTER (Australia)

Theme 25. Marine Geoscience and Oceanography

Coordinators: Neville EXON (Australia)

Marine geoscience, seabed mapping, oceanography and paleoceanography are closely interrelated themes, and are particularly important to Australia with its large marine jurisdiction. This theme will include Symposia on the International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), with its many facets including deep biosphere below the ocean floor; the importance of geoscience in making offshore jurisdictional claims under the United Nations Convention Law of Sea; seabed mapping for living and non-living resource assessment and the development of marine protected areas; the marine geoscience aspects of the International Polar Year (IPY); deep biosphere below the ocean floor; coastal and offshore sedimentology; and physical oceanography.


25.1 Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), the results of deep drilling in the oceans


Neville EXON (Australia) and Mike MOTTL (USA)

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is the world’s largest geoscience research program and Australia and New Zealand are members. It deals with how the Earth worked, is working and will work. In recent times a number of IODP Expeditions have been in the western Pacific Ocean, including three in our region. The aim of this workshop is to report scientific results from these and other expeditions, and advanced plans for other expeditions. There is no geographic limit to this Symposium although we expect most papers to cover the Pacific or Indian oceans.

Keynote speaker: Mike MOTTL (USA) and Neville EXON (Australia)


25.2 Palaeoceanography and sea-level records


Colin WOODROFFE (Australia) and Leanne ARMAND (Australia)

The oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth and understanding how they have changed in the past is critical for understanding likely changes in the future. The Symposium on palaeoceanography and sea-level records is a forum to examine marine palaeoenvironments, both in terms of their physical and biological characteristics. Sea level has changed at a series of different time scales, as a consequence of different processes, such as plate-tectonics, Quaternary ice ages, isostatic responses to loading, and steric variations related to climate change. Papers on this diversity of topics are welcomed for this session.

Keynote speaker: Eelco J ROHLING (UK)


25.3 Physical processes of coastal and shelf sedimentation


Charitha PATTIARATCHI (Australia)

Understanding physical processes governing the erosion, transport and deposition of sediments on coasts and continental shelves is of immense importance to sedimentologists, engineers and environmental managers. Waves, tides and ocean currents often operate simultaneously over different spatial-temporal scales and over a range of seabed types, making for a highly complex system for measurements and modelling. Progress has been associated with the development of new instrumentation for collecting oceanographic observations, with advances in computer modelling, seabed sampling and mapping technology. Applications are diverse and include understanding depositional environments, seabed stability associated with structures and dredging, habitat characterisation and pollution dispersal.  

Keynote speaker: Michael COLLINS (UK)


25.4 Source to sink sediment pathways and the evolution of continental margins


Chuck NITTROUER (USA) and Alan ORPIN (New Zealand)

This session aims to bring together presentations that examine sediment dispersal across the continental margin, from terrestrial origins to marine accumulation. It will explore the theoretical and observational studies that support our broader understanding of margin evolution in a range of sedimentary environments globally. In addition, studies that investigate inter-basin correlations, the transfer of material from shelf to slope and rise, event sedimentation, and the impact of high-frequency climatic and tectonic variability are strongly encouraged. Especially relevant are presentations that address these factors in the context of unravelling linkages between terrestrial and marine sedimentary processes.

Keynote speakers: John P WALSH (USA) and Peter D CLIFT (UK)


25.5 Geoscience applications for ocean management and also for supporting jurisdictional claims under the United Nations Law of the Sea          


Andrew HEAP (Australia), Brian TODD (Canada) and Mark Alcock (AUSTRALIA)

The value of geoscience data and information for informing science priorities and policy agendas for the world’s oceans is widely recognised. Researchers are using marine geoscience data and insights to inform decisions across many sectors, including marine transportation, national security, offshore energy resources (both non-renewable and renewable), species- and spatial-based management, and sovereignty (i.e., applications under the United National Convention on the Limits of the Continental Shelf). Much of this work has been made possible through high spatial resolution geomorphic and geological mapping and sampling of the seabed from shallow continental shelves to the deep sea, and under polar ice.

Keynote speakers: Gary GREENE (USA) and Phil SYMONDS (Australia)


25.6 Marine minerals in Oceania


David CRONAN (UK), Cornel DE RONDE (New Zealand) and Neville EXON (Australia)

It is an exciting and pivotal time for marine minerals and mining in Oceania. Industry is gearing up for initial mining of sea floor volcanogenic massive sulfides (VMS), initially in the western Pacific. Marine aggregates for beach nourishment and construction materials continue to be the mainstay of marine mining in the region. Pioneer Investors are positioned with the International Seabed Authority for exploration and eventual mining of manganese nodules in the international waters of the Pacific. Other organisations are looking at these deposits in the Exclusive Economic Zones of island nations in the South Pacific. Exploration and assessment continues on cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts on oceanic seamounts throughout the region. The IGC Symposium will encapsulate recent developments in marine minerals research in Oceania and serve as a snapshot of the situation in this field.

Keynote speakers: Cornel DE RONDE (New Zealand) and James HEIN (USA)

Theme 26. Antarctic and Arctic Geoscience

Coordinators: Phil O’BRIEN (Australia) and Tim NAISH (New Zealand)

Geoscience research in the Polar Regions has received major boosts through initiatives such as the International Polar Year, data acquisition projects such as IODP and the ANDRILL program drilling, major airborne geophysical campaigns and application of a new generation of computer climate and ice sheet models. At the same time concerns have grown over the impacts of climate change and human influences on both regions. This Theme will include Symposia on major developments in polar earth sciences and will also mark the centenary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition led by Sir Douglas Mawson recognising the central scientific focus of the early Antarctic expeditions. Symposia are planned on marine biogeochemistry, geological processes and human impacts in polar regions; Rodinia to Gondwana: development of the Southern supercontinent; and polar climate archives integrated with numerical modelling and their global significance.



26.1 The geology of Antarctic life: history and habitats

Phil O’BRIEN (Australia) and Jeff STILWELL (Australia)

This Symposium will explore the influence of geological history and processes on Antarctic life by examining how the geological record and geological setting shape the modern biota. Contributions examining the pre-Icehouse faunas and floras of Antarctica, the impact of major crises in the region and the effects of the Cenozoic glaciation are all welcome. In addition, we encourage contributions on how recent changes in glaciation, oceanography and other earth processes influence modern patterns of biological communities.

26.2 Polar climate archives and their global significance

  Tim NAISH (New Zealand) and Henk BRINKHUIS (The Netherlands)

The polar regions have shown extreme variations in climate through earth history from the onset of major glaciation during the Cenozoic to the present rapid changes in the Arctic and Antarctic Peninsula. These regions also are the areas where major processes influencing biogeochemical cycles and climate feedbacks are active. How the polar regions have responded to past changes gives important insights in how the planet will respond to future change. While palaeoclimate records for the poles are still sparse, major programs such as IODP, IMAGES, ice coring and ANDRILL and onshore field studies are starting to fill the gaps. This Symposium seeks to draw together studies from both the Arctic and Antarctic and explore their implications for the whole planet.


26.3 Arctic tectonics


Loic LABROUSSE (France) and Oleg PETROV (Russia)

This Symposium will focus on recent advances in our understanding of Arctic and sub-Arctic sedimentary basins and orogens, and implications for designing new geoscientific experiments in the Arctic region. The geological history of this isolated ocean basin has been controlled by global-scale boundary conditions such as the accretion of terranes in the North-American and Russian cordillera, the evolution of Pacific plate subduction, and the propagation of the mid-Atlantic spreading ridge. Similarly, present-day geodynamics and basin morphology have consequences for worldwide geologic and climatic processes. For these and other reasons, the unravelling of circumpolar tectonics through geological time must be considered a first-order knowledge objective for the understanding of global tectonics and the appraisal of worldwide natural resources in proper geodynamic context.

26.4 Rodinia to Gondwana: evolution of the southern supercontinent

  Chris CARSON (Australia) and Mark FANNING (Australia)

The period of earth history encompassing the construction and subsequent demise of the supercontinents, Rodinia and Pangaea, was characterised by fundamental continental reorganisation, episodes of profound changes of global climates, voluminous igneous activity, rapid evolution of biological diversity and complexity and a plethora of related geological events and processes. In this session, we appraise various current models on the development and continental configurations that led to the formation of Rodinia, and in particular, that of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, and their subsequent breakup, and examine the variety of coeval global upheavals that accompanied the formation of these quintessential supercontinents.

Theme 27. Biogeoscience

Coordinators: Matthew STOTT (New Zealand) and Jill BANFIELD (USA)

There is increased understanding that geology, biology and biochemistry are intricately linked. This Theme will explore the interaction between geology, and biology, and how this interaction influences the environment. It will include sessions on the roles of organisms in geological formation, biological involvement in ore formation; mineral bioprocessing; the detection and analysis of microbes in soils, extremophilic microorganisms and their niches, and earth systems management.



27.1 Biogeochemical cycling and Bioprocessing technologies


John MOREAU (Australia), Racquel QUATRINI (Chile) and Carol DAVIS-BELMAR (Chile)

This Symposium focusses on two areas; Biogeochemical cycling and Bioprocessing technologies. Biogeochemical cycling will explore biogeochemical reactions and the microorganisms involved in their mediation that control or constrain the cyclic flux of nutrients and trace metals across physical and chemical gradients and/or boundaries. Chemical, isotopic, microscopic, microanalytical, voltammetric, spectroscopic and molecular biological approaches to understanding and quantifying such fluxes are of particular interest. Studies of biogeochemical cycles may include (but are not limited to) “ambient” settings (e.g., forests, wetlands, marine) to more extreme environments (e.g., hot springs, acid mine/rock drainage, hypersaline lakes), and include the theoretical, observational and analytical. The symposium on Bioprocessing Technologies will focus on recent findings in fundamental research and biotechnological innovations for the industrial extraction and recovery of metals and in assisting the remediation of metal contaminated soils and waters. Highlights on Bioprocessing Technologies will include both biological and technological aspects of mineral oxidation during heap and dump bioleaching, pretreatment of precious-metal concentrates in stirred-tank reactors and bioremediation of acid rock drainage. Emerging aspects of mineral-microorganism and microorganism-microorganism interactions at contact interfaces during mineral processing will also be addressed. Several studies will also include analysis of the genomics of microorganisms involved in mineral bioprocessing. Fundamental and technological challenges will emerge as we explore bioprocessing from lab research to successful commercial applications.

Keynote Speakers: Richard BUSH (Australia), Paul NORRIS (UK) and David HOLMES (CHILE)


27.2 Microbes and extreme environments and the Deep Biosphere 


Lesley WARREN (Canada), Anna KAKSONEN (Australia) and Don COWAN (South Africa)

This Symposium focusses on two areas;  Microbes and extreme environments and the Deep Biosphere. Extreme environments including the Deep Biosphere present some of the most unusual and exciting habits on Earth, exhibiting distinctive microbial communities that are highly interactive with the dynamic geochemistry of these systems.  Contributions are solicited that highlight the novel microbiology of these environments with emphasis on the use of modern high throughput sequence technologies in extremophile microbial ecology and our current understanding of the molecular adaptations responsible for life at ‘the outer envelope’; as well as those elucidating linkages between microbial ecology and geochemistry using multidisciplinary approaches, e.g., molecular microbiology, molecular geochemistry (XRF, X-ray microscopy, XANES, EXAFS, etc) and imaging.

Keynote Speakers: Gordan SOUTHAM (USA), Ken TAKAI (JAPAN) and Jill MIKUCKI (USA)

Theme 28. Groundwater/Hydrogeology

Coordinators: Ken LAWRIE (Australia) and Chris DAUGHNEY (New Zealand)

The past decade has seen an increased demand for hydrogeological predictions to sustain growth, promote wealth and protect landscape, infrastructure and biodiversity assets. Improved understanding of hydrogeological systems underpins the development of more effective groundwater models and management strategies and actions. Indicative topics covered in this Theme include: climate change impacts on groundwater; surface-groundwater interaction; managed aquifer recharge; groundwater modelling and parameterisation; delineation and management of groundwater resources; aquifer and aquitard mapping and characterisation; recharge and discharge mapping; groundwater and mining; coastal groundwater; groundwater dependent ecosystems; risks to groundwater quality including salinity; hydrogeochemistry including water-rock interactions; and socio-economic, and legal aspects of groundwater management.



28.1 Groundwater resources and sustainable management


Gil ZEMANSKY (New Zealand) and Ross BRODIE (Australia)

Globally, the sustainable management of groundwater resources is threatened by over-allocation, and increasing pressures from expanding populations, climate and land use change, as well as increased demands from the energy, mining and agricultural sectors. For this Symposium, we invite the submission of papers that highlight the latest science advances on groundwater resources and their sustainable management. Specific sessions will include: 1) ‘Groundwater Resources and Sustainability’; 2) ‘Climate Change, Land Use and Population Impacts on Groundwater Systems’; 3) ‘Managed Aquifer Recharge: New Opportunities for Increasing Community Resilience to Climate Change’; and 4) ‘Groundwater Management and Policy’.

Keynote speaker: Craig SIMMONS (Australia)

28.2 Groundwater processes: interactions, dynamics and response


Chris DAUGHNEY (New Zealand), Uwe MORGENSTERN (New Zealand) and Bear MCPHAIL (Australia)

This Symposium will focus on the use of hydrogeochemistry and geochronology for understanding and quantifying groundwater processes. Papers are invited for specific sessions on: 1) ‘Groundwater Interactions’, with this session including papers on surface-groundwater and water-rock interactions, and the interactions between groundwater systems with soils and vegetation; and 2) ‘Groundwater Dynamics and Responses’. This session will include papers on the characterisation and quantification of groundwater processes including groundwater flow, recharge and discharge rates (including flood responses), and sustainable yields. 

28.3 Geoscientific mapping, characterisation and conceptualisation of hydrogeological systems


Ken LAWRIE (Australia), Jon CLARKE (Australia) and Malcolm COX (Australia)

A significant increase in demand from policy makers for high levels of certainty in groundwater model predictions, coupled with a need for rapid characterisation and quantification of resources, has provided an impetus for new hydrogeological research directions including multidisciplinary science approaches to hydrogeological system characterisation to improve groundwater model parameterisation. Papers are invited for sessions including: 1) ‘Geospatial and Geoscientific Mapping of Hydrogeological Systems’; and 2) ‘Hydrogeological and Hydrogeochemical Characterisation of Groundwater Systems’. The latter will include fractured rock and karstic aquifers, sedimentary basins, coastal aquifers, and alluvial and volcanic systems.

Keynote speaker: Jared ABRAHAM (USA)


28.4 Groundwater for energy and mining

  Ken LAWRIE (Australia) and Steven LEWIS (Australia)

Increasingly, the search for new energy and mineral resources is leading to exploration in a range of hydrogeological settings that were previously poorly understood, or have historically been used for other purposes (groundwater resources to sustain populations and agriculture). This Symposium invites papers that document the hydrogeology and groundwater management of these resources. Specific sessions will include: 1) ‘Coal Seam Gas and Groundwater’; 2) ‘Groundwater Systems and Geothermal Energy’; 3) ‘Aquifer storage for Geo-sequestration of Carbon’; 4) ‘Groundwater and Sustainable Mining’; 5) ‘Competing Uses of Aquifers for Groundwater Resources, Energy and Mineral Resources’; and 6) ‘Future Potential of the Brackish and Saline Groundwater Resource’.


28.5 Hazards and risks to groundwater systems

  Ken LAWRIE (Australia), Baskaran SUNDERAM (Australia) and Chris DAUGHNEY (New Zealand)

Groundwater systems are vulnerable to a range of natural and anthropogenically-induced hazards. Specific sessions are planned on 1) Secondary Salinisation and Acidification of Groundwater Systems; 2) Impact of Earthquakes on Groundwater systems, and 3) Groundwater Hazards in the Coastal Zone. The latter session invites papers on the impacts of tsunamis, storm surges, seawater intrusion and sea level rise. Papers on hazard and risk assessment methods, and the subjects of industrial and agricultural chemical contamination of groundwater impacts of floods, subsidence, volcanism, and erosion are also welcomed. 


28.6 Visualisation and modelling of groundwater systems


Malcolm COX (Australia), Mauricio TAULIS (Australia) and Bruce GILL (Australia)

This Symposium invites papers on groundwater visualisation and predictive groundwater modelling. Case studies and papers that explore recent improvements in methods and technologies, and key challenges, are particularly encouraged. Specific sessions will include: 1) Conceptualisation of Hydrogeological Systems, including the use of neural networking approaches; and 2) Groundwater Visualisation; and 3) Groundwater Modelling.

Keynote speaker: Clifford VOSS (USA)

Theme 29. Surficial Processes and Landscape Evolution

Coordinators: Allan CHIVAS (Australia) and Brad PILLANS (Australia)

This Theme will address the key processes that shape the landscape, the nature of landscape and its evolution. Planned Symposia will cover surficial process and rates of activity; regolith processes; landforms; pedogenic carbonates; laterites; soils; desertification; and landscape evolution.



29.1 Landscape response to climate change: quantifying present and ancient rates of Earth-surface processes


Anthony DOSSETO (Australia) and Arjun HEIMSATH (USA)

Landscape diversity is the result of Earth surface’s response to external forcings such as climate variability, tectonic and/or human activity. To understand this response, quantifying the rates of geomorphic processes is critical. This session explores methods that provide such quantifications, including (but not limited to) cosmogenic and uranium-series isotopes,
luminescence dating, thermochronometry, isotope geochemistry or geochemical mass-balances. The focus is brought on techniques quantifying present-day surface processes but also on methods that allow us to re-construct their past variations, such as palaeo-erosion rates or stable-isotope proxies.

Keynote speaker: Paul BIERMAN (USA)

29.2 Karst: processes, environments and paleoenvironmental records


Jianhua CAO (China) and Yaoru LU (China)

This topic includes (1) fundamental research on karst, such as karst geology, hydrogeology and geochemistry and karst process monitoring techniques; (2) factors impacting karst development, such as precipitation, temperature, sea-level, glaciation and vegetation and their changes; (3) carbonate rock dissolution and carbon sequestration, carbonate deposition and (paleoenvironmental) environmental and climatic records in tufa, travertine and stalagmite; (4) karst hydrogeology, water resources exploration, contamination control, and management; (5) karst ecosystems, fragility, human impacts and environmental rehabilitation; (6) karst landscape and caves: natural heritage sites, Geoparks and educational sites; (7) karst engineering.

Keynote speaker: Zaihua LIU (China)

29.3 Regolith/landform evolution and clay minerals


Brad PILLANS (Australia), Paul HESSE (Australia), Matt TELFER (UK), Paul BISHOP (UK), Chun Hui (Clayton) ZHOU and John Keeling (Australia)

The progressive continental breakup of Gondwana since Mesozoic times has not only resulted in previously adjacent landmasses being widely dispersed, but has also dramatically changed ocean and atmosphere circulation patterns with concomitant global climate changes. In particular, aridification of continents has occurred repeatedly throughout the Neogene and Quaternary. Taking advantage of recent advances in dating methods, this symposium will focus on regolith/landform evolution against the background of these global changes.  The symposium will incorporate a series of papers specifically devoted to clays that include aspects of the geology, properties and uses of clay minerals
Keynote speaker: Hervé THEVENIAUT (France)

29.4 Deep weathering through deep time: regolith processes and ore deposits


Ravi ANAND (Australia) and Allan CHIVAS (Australia)

Regolith hosts or hides valuable mineral deposits. In many regions, there has been a long and complex history of weathering and landscape development, commonly under climates quite different from the present. Thus, understanding regolith architecture and age, as well as the processes that act within the regolith, are essential to address the challenges of developing sampling media for mineral exploration. We seek a broad range of contributions, including (1) regolith geochronology, (2) weathering and regolith-landscape processes (3) formation of soils, ‘laterite’, calcrete, bauxite etc (4) regolith sampling media in geochemical exploration and (5) formation of secondary mineral deposits.

Keynote speaker: Bill VERBOOM (Australia)


Theme 30. Geohazards

Coordinators: Phil CUMMINS (Australia), Terry WEBB (New Zealand) and Kelvin BERRYMAN (New Zealand)

Symposia will address the wide range of geohazards that regularly impact on societies and economies, including research into geological and geophysical processes, geohazard mapping, impact and risk assessments, and the evaluation and testing of mitigation strategies. Indicative Symposia will cover: earthquake hazards; neotectonics; volcanic (ash) hazards; tsunami hazards and monitoring systems; severe storm hazards; riverine flooding hazards; landslide hazards; natural hazard risk assessment and modelling methods; monitoring, prediction, warning and mitigation for geohazards.


30.1 Subaerial and submarine landslide hazards [IGCP585]


Jason CHAYTOR (USA), Peter BOBROWSKY (Canada), Ashvin WICKRAMASOORIYA (Sri Lanka) and Diana ZAKHIDOVA (Romania)

The purpose of this Symposium is to provide a forum primarily for, but not limited to, a discussion the hazards posed by subaerial and submarine landslides across all geographical scales, from local to the regional scale. We invite abstracts based on research outcomes relevant to the following topics: (a) Understanding the causes of subaerial and submarine landslides; (b) Landslide identification, prediction, and preparedness; (c) Processes and mechanisms of landsliding pre-conditioning and triggering; (d) Behaviour and mobility of different types of landslides, from very fast events like rock avalanches to very slow events like soil creep; (e) Landslides hazards and risk assessment; (f) Socieoeconomic and environmental impacts of landslides; (g) Different methods used in management and mitigation of landslide; and (h) Landslide modelling and monitoring.

Keynote speakers: Geoffroy LAMARCHE (New Zealand) and Phil FLENTJE (Australia)

30.2 Natural hazards and climate change


Bob CECHET (Australia), Graeme SMART (New Zealand) and Martyn HAZELWOOD (Australia)

Natural hazards are naturally occurring events that can have significant negative effect on people, infrastructure and the environment. This session will deal with natural hazards which could be influenced by climate change. These include climatic and atmospheric hazards (cyclones, thunderstorms, heat waves) as well as hydrological hazards (floods, tsunami, dam burst). Other more complex hazards which are a combination of a number of factors including the above, such as wildfire and disease, will also be considered.

Climate change has the ability to influence both the intensity and the frequency of extreme events. This session will present advances in our understanding of the influence of climate change on natural hazards. In particular it will address the risks posed to population centres, infrastructure and the environment.

We invite contributions that include, but are not limited to, research into the influence of climate change on hazards and their impacts, landfall impact assessment and scenario impact modelling, numerical modelling of natural hazards, risk assessment, paleotempestology and education and outreach programs.

Keynote speaker: Andrew ASH (Ausltralia)


30.3 Improving the interaction between natural/physical and social sciences to increase the effectiveness of natural disaster risk reduction

  Irina RAFLIANA (Indonesia), Dale DOMINEY-HOWES (Australia) and Michelle DALY (New Zealand)

The world can be a dangerous place in which natural hazard events frequently become disasters. Risk is increasing due to larger numbers of people living in hazardous areas combined with socio-economic and cultural factors such as poverty, lack of environmental and development planning, varying levels of hazard awareness and risk perception, and limited preparedness. Effective disaster risk reduction (risk mitigation strategies) requires a wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge in understanding the earth system, the human/societal system, and how both interact. The session will be interested in questions such as: How does the community system function? How is risk perceived by different stakeholders and what are the implications for DRR? How do we/should we communicate? What messages are best? How does the general public process and act upon risk information? Where and how has scientific information been taken into account in informing public policies and systems? What challenges lie ahead of us and what are both research and practice telling us about the way forward?

30.4 Geohazards in subduction zones


Laura WALLACE (New Zealand), Phil CUMMINS (Australia) and Danny NATAWIDJAJA (Indonesia)

Subduction zones are the scenes of the most intense geological activity on the planet. They are the source of the earth's largest earthquakes and tsunamis, and some of its largest and most dangerous volcanic eruptions. High rainfall and fertile soils in many such areas support large populations. As a consequence, subduction zones are often associated with high natural hazard risk. Despite their potential impact on human society, some of the most fundamental questions about these hazards remain to be answered: what are the maximum credible events, what are their typical recurrence rates, and what are the structural, chemical and mechanical factors that control them? What is the relationship of newly discovered slow slip event behaviour to subduction thrust earthquakes? How does the occurrence of one earthquake trigger subsequent earthquake and volcanic activity? What geologic factors enhance tsunami generation? Contributions are invited aimed at answering such questions, from studies of the fundamental process driving subduction zone geohazards, to the local environmental and geological factors that determine their impacts.

Keynote speakers: Yuki SAWAI (Japan) and Gill JOLLY (New Zealand) 


30.5 Geohazard risk analysis: the state of the art


Jane SEXTON (Australia)

Natural hazard risk assessment is an increasingly important means for society to identify the risks natural hazards pose to society and determine how to reduce them. The economic losses caused by natural disasters worldwide have increased dramatically in the last century, driven largely by rising population and economic growth. As a consequence, there is an urgent need for better tools for more effective risk management, based on risk assessments that include accurate appraisals of uncertainty, involve rigorous quantification of vulnerability, and encompass indirect (knock-on) effects such as business interruption. This Symposium invites contributions from natural hazard risk assessment practitioners in government, academia and the private sector who are developing or using new methods for risk assessment that meet some of these challenges.

Keynote speaker: John SCHNEIDER (Australia)

30.6 Earth monitoring for improved forecasting of natural hazards


Phil CUMMINS (Australia) and Ken GLEDHILL (New Zealand)

The 21st century has begun with a string of natural disasters of seemingly unprecedented scale, including the 2004 Indian Ocean and 2011 NE Japan tsunamigenic earthquakes, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and major floods in China, Brazil and Australia as well as bush/wildfire disasters in Australia, Russia and Israel during 2010-2011. These events have all demonstrated that our ability to monitor natural hazard phenomena has improved dramatically over the last two decades, due to a proliferation of observation platforms including real-time seismographic, geodetic and sea level networks as well as space- and air-borne remote sensing systems. While these technologies have provided a wealth of data for post-event analysis, how well do they contribute to our ability for real-time monitoring and forecasting of natural hazard phenomena? We invite presentations on novel uses of real-time environmental monitoring to help forecast natural hazard phenomena - e.g. monitoring of earthquakes and ground deformation using real-time seismographic and geodetic networks and their use in forecasting tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, real-time rainfall and other remote sensing measurements for forecasting landslides and floods, and monitoring of surface temperature and vegetation to forecast bush/wildfires. We are particular interested in presentations that combine such observations with dynamic modelling of natural hazard phenomena.

Keynote speakers: Ryota HINO (Japan), Ken GLEDHILL (New Zealand) and Andy STEVEN (Australia) 

30.7 Advances in Earthquake and Tsunami Hazard Assessment


Phil CUMMINS (Australia)

Earthquake and tsunami disasters over the past decade have had devastating impacts on populations throughout the world. During the same time, important advances have been made in methods and data used for hazard assessment, which is the starting point for effective mitigation of disaster impacts. This session highlights some of the recent progress made in earthquake and tsunami hazard assessment.

Keynote speakers: Phil Playford (Australia) 

Theme 31. Engineering Geology and Geomechanics

Coordinators: Mark EGGERS (Australia) and Francisco DE JORGE (Brazil)

The interface between geology and engineering is critical to our rapidly expanding urban space and increasing demand for the Earth’s resources. Indicative Symposia in this Theme include geoengineering challenges for our ever-growing cities; geoscience inputs to major infrastructure developments, including underground construction and corridor studies; increasing use of engineering geology concepts in the optimisation of open pit and underground mine design; key roles of geoengineering in mitigating climate change; improving the development of geological models for engineering projects; and advances in geomechanics.



31.1 Engineering geological challenges for our ever growing cities



Urban engineering geology is under a state of continual change in response to rapid urban development across the globe. This Symposium will investigate the latest challenges and will include assessments for building stone and contaminated sites.

Keynote speaker: Simon PRICE (UK)


31.2 Engineering geology in major infrastructure developments


Francisco DE JORGE (Brazil)

Infrastructure development to keep pace with urban growth and resource expansion requires new technology and innovation to match increasing demands on space and time. This Symposium explores the role of engineering geology to provide answers including the areas of underground construction and corridor studies.

Keynote speaker: Simon LOEW (Switzerand)

31.3 Engineering geology in mining


Mark EGGERS (Australia)

Engineering geology is playing an increasing function in the investigation, design and operation of open pit and underground mining. The objective of this Symposium  is to illustrate the high value that engineering geology can bring to all stages of mine development ranging from conceptual studies to mine operation in the improvement of economic optimisation and safety.

Keynote speaker: Tim SULLIVAN (Australia)


31.4 Engineering geology in managing risk from geohazards and impacts of climate change


Anders SOLHEIM (Norway)

Improved risk management of natural hazards is essential to reducing the occurrence and severity of disasters. Management is about anticipating and this is where engineering geology can play a major role ranging from hazard and consequence analysis through to design of mitigation measures. Climate variability and global change pose new challenges to risk management, and therefore also to engineering geology. The Symposium explores this role emphasising the responsibility of engineering geology to provide more effective risk management for all types of natural hazards.

Keynote speakers: Jordi COROMINAS (Spain), Raymond K.S. CHAN (Hong Kong)


31.5 Improving the development of geological models for engineering studies


Steve PARRY (Hong Kong)

The geological model is a fundamental basis for geotechnical design. It is required to synthesise often extremely complex geological conditions so that relatively simple geotechnical analysis can be under taken. This Symposium will particularly focus on development techniques for constructing the model and transformation of model information so that it can be integrated into engineering decision making including the incorporation of uncertainty within the model.

Keynote speaker: Jim GRIFFITH (UK)

31.6 Interaction of engineering geology and geomechanics

  Phil PAIGE-GREEN (South Africa)

This Symposium seeks to re-emphasise the importance of understanding the geological science behind the engineering behaviour of a soil or rock material and mass. The objective is to improve the theoretical basis for analysis and design in geotechnical engineering by reducing uncertainty in selecting design parameters and improving knowledge on response of earth materials to physical forces.

Theme 32. Geoscience Information from Proximal and Remote Sensing Technologies

Coordinators: Tom CUDAHY (Australia), Adam LEWIS (Australia), and Carlos DE SOUZA FILHO (Brazil) [UNESCO- IUGS Geological Applications of Remote Sensing (GARS) program]

Symposia in this theme will address how emerging “geoscience-tuned” sensed data from satellite, airborne, drill core, and other field sources can provide valuable information for the measurement, mapping and monitoring of geological processes. Indicative topics include: new “geoscience-tuned” sensing technologies; mineral, lithological and structural mapping; resource (minerals, hydrocarbon and geothermal) exploration; volcanic hazard assessment; mapping and monitoring of landforms, soils, biomass and water; natural disaster management; mine environmental baseline-inventories, monitoring and mine closure assessment; mapping planets/moons; methods for the measurement of (bio)physicochemistry; geoscience information product standards; seamless, integrated (with other geospatial data) 3D and 4D (temporal) mapping; and geoscience information delivery systems.  



32.1 Mineral exploration



Targeting “vector” minerals (alteration mapping) associated with economic mineral systems is a significant opportunity for proximal and remote sensing technologies, especially those able to resolve diagnostic spectral features (e.g. hyperspectral sensors and VNIR-SWIR-TIR wavelengths). This Symposium welcomes successful case histories that demonstrate this potential as well as related lessons and comparisons with other exploration data.

Keynote speaker: Sandra PERRY (USA)


32.2 Energy and Resource Environment


Carlos DE SOUZA FILHO (Brazil) and Cindy ONG (Australia)

This Symposium seeks contributions in the fields of exploration and development of energy resources, spanning from onshore/offshore hydrocarbons, uranium and geothermal resources. Emphasis is on methods and applications based on portable, airborne and/or spaceborne instruments with distinct wavelength coverage (VNIR, SWIR, TIR, microwave), spectral and spatial resolution resolutions.

Keynote speakers: Benoit RIVARD (Canada) and Eyal BEN-DOR (Israel)

32.3 Earth's environment


Sabine CHABRILLAT (Germany), Alvaro P. CRÓSTA (Brazil) and Mike ABRAMS (USA)

A new generation of proximal and remote sensing technologies is becoming available at local- to global-scales that enable more accurate mapping and monitoring of the Earth’s natural environment from its fresh rock geology and its superimposed geomorphology, regolith, soils and landforms to the type and health of its vegetative cover and water (surface and groundwater) systems. This Symposium invites remote sensing contributions from any/all of these areas for better understanding and managing the Earth system.

Keynote speakers: Robert GREEN (USA), Stuart MARSH (UK & GARS) and Robert WRIGHT (USA)


32.4 National Virtual Core Library (NVCL) 


Jon HUNTINGTON (Australia) and David GREEN (Australia)

The Auscope National Virtual Core Library (NVCL) is a government funded initiative led by CSIRO aimed at building spectroscopic drill core logging capabilities (HyLogger™) within the State and Territory Geological Surveys of Australia. This 2nd NVCL Symposia follows the successful 1st NVCL in 2010 and invites contributions from the NVCL community on how this technology is being applied. 

Keynote speaker: Jon Huntington (Australia)

Theme 33. History of the Geosciences

Coordinators: Barry COOPER (Australia) and S F de M FIGUEIRÔA (Brazil) [37th Conference of the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences - INHIGEO]

This theme is being planned to include Symposia on history of geosciences; historical perspective on geologists; history of resource exploration and development; major geological achievements in 20th century; general contributions in the history of geology.



33.1 Biographical studies of eminent geologists: a Symposium in honour of David Branagan


David OLDROYD (Australia)

This Symposium will focus on the people who have made significant achievements in the earth sciences throughout history. It honours Australian geologist, David Branagan, who published a major biography on TW Edgeworth David in 2005.

Keynote speaker: Léo F LAPORTE (USA)

33.2 The early history of Continental Drift and associated subjects


Allan KRILL (Norway) and Homer Le GRAND (Australia)

This Symposium will focus on the history of continental drift within the earth sciences up until the development of modern plate tectonics especially with respect to Alfred Wegener’s contribution.

Keynote speaker: Allan KRILL (Norway)

33.3 Major achievements in 20th century geology


Carol BACON (Australia)

This Symposium will focus on any of the vast array of significant contributions that characterised the rapid development of the earth sciences in the 20th century.

Keynote speaker: Ian McDOUGALL (Australia)


33.4 Geology in tropical regions


Bernie JOYCE (Australia)

Given Australia’s partial placement in the tropics this Symposium will focus on the pioneering research of earth scientists specifically in the tropical regions of the world and with tropical emphasis.

Keynote Speaker: Silvia FIGUEIRôA (Brazil) 


33.5 Geologists, resource exploration and development: an historical perspective


Ken MCQUEEN (Australia)

Given Australia’s extensive mining history, this Symposium will focus on resource discovery and development worldwide, including all minerals and petroleum, and the major role of earth scientists in any such developments.

Keynote speaker: Tony HOPE (Australia)


Theme 34. Major Geoscience Initiatives, Geosurveys and Maps

Coordinators: Ian LAMBERT (Australia) and Ian WITHNALL (Australia)

It is proposed that this Theme will cover major geoscience initiatives, including those involving international Geosurveys and the Commission for the Geological Map of the World, where these are not covered under other Themes.



34.1 Geological processes of the construction of Asia

  Manuel PUBELLIER (France), Jishun REN (China) and Xiaochi JIN (China)

Asia is a huge composite continent composed of large cratons and numerous small or micro-continental blocks joined together by a variety of orogens. The Phanerozoic making of Asia is a process still in progress. Processes include formation of oceanic crust to the last stages of the life of mountain ranges, the creation and disappearance of crustal material, a variety of provinces exposing igneous, metamorphosed, or sedimentary rocks, and various structures like ophiolitic suture zones, lithospheric faults, and large transcurrent faults. The mechanics of crustal extension, rapid opening of marginal basins floored with oceanic crust and subduction zones are also observable as active processes. In order to represent these geological features, considerable efforts have been put in the recent years into mapping program and syntheses like the IGMA5000, and into IGCP projects targeted on Asian geology. These endeavours have involved numerous Asian countries as well as many scientists of the international community. This session invites scientists to contribute new results of regional importance and to understanding the geological evolution of Asia.

34.2 Geological and metallogenic responses to deep processes in eastern Asia and continental margins


Shuwen DONG (China) and Oleg PETROV (Russia)

The Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (CAGS), A.P. Karpinsky Russian Geological Research Institute (VSEGEI), Mineral Resources Authority of Mongolia (MRAM), Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) and Kazakhstan’s Scientific Research Institute of Natural Resources (YUGGEO) have been collaborating since 2002 in major initiatives on deep processes, geology and metallogeny of Central and Eastern Asia. This Symposium will present the latest results of these major studies. It will exhibit the Atlas of Geological Maps (1:2.5M), comprising the geological, tectonic, metallogenic and energy resources maps. It will also reveal the lithospheric structure, geological evolution and metallogenesis, and explore the lithospheric structure and continental dynamics of central-eastern Asia and the western Pacific continental margin through a series of geotransects and seismic profiles penetrating key geological structures and orogenic belts.

Keynote speakers: Shuwen DONG (China), Oleg PETROV (Russia), Tomurtogoo. O (Mongolia) and Sung Won KIM (Republic of Korea)


34.3 SinoProbe—deep exploration in China


Dong SHUWEN (China), Tingdong LI (China), Larry BROWN (USA) and Mian Liu (USA)

SinoProbe is a big Chinese government-funded scientific program on geosciences. It has been taking a multidisciplinary approach to study the composition, structure and evolution of the continental lithosphere beneath the Chinese continent since 2008. This session will present major scientific results of SinoProbe achieved by both Chinese scientists and international collaborators. It will mainly include four long seismic profiles across the major orogens and basins of the Chinese continent and eastern Asia, broadband seismic profile in Qiangtang block, north and southeast China, seismic refraction images, nationalwide MT array, integrated detection over major ore districts, geochemical survey of deep process, deep scientific drillings, in-situ stress monitoring deployed in key areas and geodynamic modelling results for the Chinese lithosphere.

Theme 35. Geostandards

Coordinators: Colin SIMPSON (Australia) and William CAVAZZA (Italy)

The Geostandards sessions are organised by groups associated with the IUGS. Presentations may be by invitation of the convenors. International Commission on Stratigraphy standards and related issues are covered under this Theme. Geoscience information geochronology/time scale and professional standards are covered under other appropriate Themes.



35.1 GSSPs (Global boundary-stratotype section and point) as global geostandards

  Stan FINNEY (USA), Marco BALINI (Italy) and Jim OGG (USA)

Contributions are invited on all aspects of GSSPs as global geostandards, particularly for those periods/systems not covered in other theme sessions. New GSSP proposals, evaluations of existing GSSPs, preservation of GSSPs, and all aspects of their age calibration and correlation are welcome contributions.


35.2 International Subcommission on Neoproterozoic stratigraphy: Neoproterozoic chronostratigraphy and the evolution and diversification of metazoa and evolution of the Earth system

  James GEHLING (Australia)


35.3 International Subcommission on Cambrian stratigraphy: Cambrian chronostratigraphy and evolution and diversification of early Cambrian life


Shanchi PENG (China) and Loren BABCOCK (USA)

Keynote speakers: James B. JAGO  (Australia), Michael STEINER (Germany), Xingliang ZHANG (China) and Maoyan ZHU (China)


35.4 International Subcommission on Ordovician stratigraphy: Ordovician intercontinental correlations: developing global and regional chronostratigraphy


David HARPER (UK) and Ian PERCIVAL (Australia)

Keynote speaker: Thijs VANDENBROUCKE (France)

35.5 The Devonian-Carboniferous-Permian Correlation chart


Manfred MENNING (Germany)

In 2011 the Devonian-Carboniferous-Permian Correlation Chart (DCP) includes some 7000 stratigraphic terms in 100 columns: 50 lithostratigraphic sections from all continents and 50 columns with biozonations around the globe, marine and continental. Most columns are well balanced with respect to each other on base of the very well balanced numerical time scale of the Stratigraphic Table of Germany 2002 (STD 2002, However, we have to complete and improve some correlations and the numerical calibration of parts of the 165 Ma long time span to finalize the DCP.

Keynote speakers: Manfred MENNING (Germany), Charles HENDERSON (Canada), Barry RICHARDS (UK) and Markus ARETZ (France)

35.6 International Subcommission on Quaternary stratigraphy: short-time divisions in the Quaternary; and onshore-offshore correlation during the Quaternary


This Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy (SQS)-sponsored session will welcome presentations that highlight the problems of the classification and definition of short-term climatic events, as well as topics focussing on the evaluation and modification of the terrestrially-based chronostratigraphy in the context of correlation with global time-scales, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of correlation with such schemes.  It will also welcome presentations concerning the representation of time in differing facies assemblages, and in particular, terrestrial sequences and their correlation with marine (shallow and deepwater facies) for purposes of accurate global stratigraphical classification in the Quaternary.


Theme 36. Regional, Thematic and Specialist Symposia

These Symposia are organised by groups associated with the IUGS and other international and national associations. Oral presentations may be by invitation of the convenors.

Coordinator: Ian LAMBERT (Australia)



36.1 Environmental change and ancient societies [IGCP 567, INQUA 0501 and IGCP 521]

  Patrick NUNN (Australia), Bruce MCFADGEN (New Zealand), Iain STEWART (UK), Manuel SINTUBIN (Belgium) and Valentina YANKO-HOMBACH (Canada)

This session addresses multidisciplinary approaches to understanding natural hazards and human culture change during recent millennia. Key hazards are tectonic in origin (earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions) but other extreme natural phenomena are relevant. Archaeological and historical records can improve chronologies of many hazardous events, and how events affected past societies. Ancient myths and legends may provide supporting detail. It is, however, important to understand how such events get encoded in oral traditions and written records. Understanding how natural hazards affected former societies can extend our knowledge about the resilience and adaptability of modern human communities to future hazard threats.


36.2 Environmental change and sustainability in karst systems: relations to climate change and anthropogenic activities (2011-2016) [IGCP/SIDA Project 598]

  Cheng ZHANG (China), Chris GROVES (USA) and Augusto AULER (Brazil)

Karst systems are an important source of water for many local populations. Karst landscapes record past environmental change at a range of time scales and are highly vulnerable to current future impacts of environmental change. Sustainable use of karst water requires an understanding of how hydrological and water resources processes respond to different climatic and hydrogeological conditions, especially to extreme droughts and floods, as well as circulating and regulating functions of karst watersheds and epikarstic zones. This Symposium will bring together researchers involved in IGCP/SIDA Project 598 and others to focus on the impacts of environmental change on karst systems and the sustainability of  karst systems.


36.3 Greater Altai – a unique rare-metal-gold-polymetallic province in Central Asia [National Committee of Kazakhstan Geologists]

  Bulat UZHKENOV (Kazakhstan), Alexey VARLAMOV (Russia) and Grigory ABRAMSON (Australia)

The Greater Altai (GA) mineral province, located in the territories of Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Russia, is one of the oldest ore-mining provinces of the world. The province is rich in well-known pyrite-polymetallic deposits (with silver and gold) as well as deposits of gold, rare metals, iron, and nickel. In general, the geology and metallogeny is characterized by integrity and unity, against the background of a wide variety of geological environments and ore types. Despite a long history of geological study, there remain many unresolved and controversial issues in matters of stratigraphy, magmatism, geotectonics and especially metallogeny. The GA province can become a testing site for geologists around the world to study the whole spectrum of problems of geology and metallogeny. This Symposium encourages discussion of both fundamental and applied aspects of ore formation and patterns of ore distribution.

36.4 Geoscience challenges in the 21st century: an early-career perspective  [YES Network]


  Joanne VENUS (UK), Gabriela PERLINGEIRO (Australia) and Michelle COOPER (Australia)

The Earth is facing significant challenges, many of which will need to be addressed by the next generation of Earth scientists. In order to meet these challenges it is imperative that the Earth scientists of the future form strong, international networks and develop relevant, cross-disciplinary skills. Effective outreach, including mentor schemes and internships, is more important than ever and required in order to support, recruit and retain the geoscientists required in the future. Faced by so many choices, early career Earth scientists' key decision points need to be identified and discussed. Also crucial to the development of our future Earth scientists will be the recognition of international qualifications.


36.5 Inclusions in minerals [International Mineralogical Association Working Group on Inclusions in Minerals]


Pei NI (China), Ronald BAKKER (Austria) and Fanus VILJOEN (South Africa)

Fluid and melt inclusions in minerals are powerful means to obtain knowledge about the properties, behaviors and origins of geo-fluids. They have been widely used to study igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary petrology, structural and stratigraphic analysis, metal and hydrocarbon deposit genesis and exploration. Fluid inclusions may preserve direct evidence for the presence and composition of ancient fluids that have long since left the sample. Melt inclusions may provide direct samples of the uncrystallized magma including its volatile contents. This session will provide an international forum for exchange of latest research results and ideas between geoscientists from academy, government and industry focusing on studies of fluid- and silicate-melt inclusions in minerals.

Keynote speakers: Vadim KAMENETSKY (Australia) and Guoxiang CHI (Canada)


36.6 Minerals and related phases


Andrew CHRISTY (Australia)

This Symposium focuses on the individual solid phases that are building blocks of the Earth and other planetary bodies. These phases  include crystalline minerals, amorphous mineraloids and even quasicrystals in nature. Synthetic analogue materials are also of interest.  Contributions are welcomed on topics including but not limited to the chemistry, physics, structure and stability of these materials, their occurrence, nomenclature and classification.

36.7 Geoscience research and concepts from Asia and environs

  Ian LAMBERT (Australia) and Paul KAY (Australia)

Theme 37. Alternative Concepts

Note – these Symposia will be arranged by the convenors listed and presentations may be by invitation.



37.1 Expanding Earth (Sam Carey Memorial)

  Giancarlo SCALERA (Italy), James MAXLOW (Australia), Cliff OLLIER (Australia) and Stefan CWOJDZINSKI (Poland)

This session honours the early contributions of the late Samuel Warren Carey to the concept of an expanding Earth. A restricted number of invited papers will discuss progress in the field over the last two decades, including new mechanisms for fold-thrust belts building, Pacific paleobiogeography, paleogeographic reconstructions, topology, seismology, new interpretations of True Polar Wander and Polar Motion, links to economic geology, regional and global geodynamics. It will also consider links between expanding Earth theory and astronomy, cosmology and basic physics.


37.2 Pursuit of a new global geodynamic paradigm


Dong CHOI (Australia), Ismail BHAT (India) and Karsten STORETVEDT (Norway)

The session will critically examine accumulated geological and geophysical data from many corners of the globe, and on its basis discuss most plausible geodynamic systems – alternatives to plate tectonics. A wide range of topics will be included: continental rocks from ocean floors, deep Earth structure, earthquakes, Sun-Earth interaction, etc.  

Keynote speakers: Ismail BHAT (India), Karsten STORETVEDT (Norway), Dong R CHOI (Australia),
Takao YANO (Japan), Boris I. VASILIEV (Russia)
and Louis HISSINK (Australia)

Other Major Forums

Other Major Forum are not bound by the 15 minute time slots of normal Symposia. Presentatoins should be brought on a USB and taken to the Speaker Preparation Centre to upload on arrival at the Congress.

F.2: International GeoSurveys Forum – Applying geoscience to address the world’s major challenges

Boulevard Room, Tuesday 7 August, 1.00 – 5.15 pm

This forum, which has been developed for senior representatives from geosurveys around the world, will take the place of the ICOGS meetings held at previous congresses. Other interested delegates may attend. Convenors — Chris Pigram (Australia) and Alex Malahoff (New Zealand)

This forum will focus on how the geological surveys are responding to the major challenges currently facing them and their countries/regions. This forum will provide a good basis for genuine sharing of experience, recognising that individual geological surveys have differing mandates, functions and responsibilities, but all are increasingly required to address a growing range of issues of concern.

Because the is shorter than previous IGCs, it will not be possible for all geosurveys to make formal presentations in the time available. Instead, a small number of invited geosurveys, chosen from the major geographical regions of the world, have been invited to give a short presentation on key challenges and issues in their region and how they are responding. At the end of the forum, there will be a general discussion and drawing together the main messages.

It is anticipated that challenges discussed will include: mitigation of geological hazards (especially earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides and floods), groundwater resources, coastal zones, environmental management (including waste management), underpinning future exploration, development of unconventional hydrocarbon resources (including avoidance of environmental damage to groundwater resources), custodianship and management of large geoscience datasets and their broader application to national and regional issues.


1.30 pm: Welcome — Dr Alex Malahoff, CEO, GNS New Zealand

1.35 pm: Australia – Dr Chris Pigram, CEO, Geoscience Australia

1.50 pm: China – Dr Zhang Hongtao, former Chief Geoscientist of the Ministry of Land and Resources and China Geological Survey

2.05 pm: Europe – Dr John Ludden, Director, British Geological Survey

2.20 pm: North America – Dr Suzette Kimball, Deputy Director, United States Geological Survey

2.35 pm: Latin America – Manoel Barretto Da Rocha Neto, Chairman, Geological Survey of Brazil

2.50 pm: Russia – Oleg Petrov, Director General, Russian Geological Research Institute

3.05 pm: Afternoon Tea

3.30 pm: Oceania – Dr Alex Malahoff, CEO, GNS New Zealand

3.45 pm: Africa – Gerhard Graham, Acting CEO, Council for Geoscience (South Africa)

4.00 pm: South Asia – Udaya de Silva, Assistant Director, Geology, Sri Lanka

4.15 pm: East Asia – Eikichi Tsukuda, Director, Geological Survey of Japan

4.30 pm: SE Asia – R Sukhyar, Head, Geological Agency Indonesia

4.45 pm: Discussion and wrap up – Chaired by Donna Kirkwood, Geological Survey of Canada

5.15 pm: Close and reception for GeoSurvey representatives.

F.3: Global Geoscience Initiative (GGI) – Developing a Geoscience Roadmap as part of the Belmont Forum

Plaza Room 1, 1-4 pm, Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This forum is open to all interested IGC delegates


Organizers - Edmund Nickless, John Ludden, Pat Leahy and Jack Hess

Discussants - Provided by Young Earth Scientists (YES) Network

This will be a Town Hall style forum on developing solid-earth geosciences initiatives as part of the Belmont forum (, which brings many of the major funders of environmental and related sciences behind an International Council for Science (ICSU) led initiative centre on the integration of global observation, state of art measurement and modeling of the Earth system, creation of interoperable databases and their translation to government and other public bodies.

The objective of this GGI forum, which follows others held at large geoscience meetings in the USA and Europe, is to link different national efforts in solid earth sciences planning and infrastructure development to provide joint initiatives on a global scale. To this end it will have a series of short presentations from key funders of earth sciences and discuss how best to create momentum.


1.00 pm: Pat Leahy — Introduction (GGI history and synopsis; goals of session)

1.05 pm: David Black — Belmont Forum Goals, Objectives and Priorities

1.20 pm: Suzette Kimball — Priorities for the Geosciences in the United States

1.35 pm: Chris Pigram — Priorities in geosciences for Australia

1.50 pm: Yao Yupeng — Geosciences in Asia — goals and priorities

2.05 pm: Mike Sandford — Geoscience priorities with the Social Science Community

2.20 pm: Edmund Nickless — Assignment of task to breakout groups

2.25 pm. Facilitated Breakout groups (25 minutes) — Discussants provided by Young Earth Scientists (YES) Network

2.50 pm: Jack Hess — Report of Breakout groups and General Discussion (30 minutes)

3.20 pm: John Ludden — Summary and Closing remarks

The forum will be followed by a reception from 3.30 pm – 4.00 pm for invited participants.

Proposed Question for breakout groups

What are three critical geoscience topical priorities that should be included in the GGI and Belmont Forum agenda and, given the strategy developed by the Forum, how can the social sciences be integrated effectively into the research design to ensure relevance to decision makers?


F.4 Earth Science Matters — successor to the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE)

Plaza Room 2, 1 - 5 pm, Monday 6 August 2012

Convenors: Ed de Mulder and Wolfgang Eder

This forum is open to all interested IGC delegates

The forum will discuss the significance of the Earth Science Matters Foundation, which represents the legacy of the International Year of Planet Earth, and its priority activities. As reflected in its subtitle: bringing knowledge of the Earth to everyone, the Earth Science Matters Foundation will spread knowledge of the Earth beyond the professional Earth scientific communities to a wider audience, including politicians, decision-makers, funding organisations, students and to the public at large. That will be realised through publications, events, projects, the media and a variety of other communication tools.

The Forum will explore and review potential for concerted actions with respect to geoscience outreach activities in various fields and regions. Forum presentations and discussions will provide input and direction for the longer term strategies of the Earth Science Matters Foundation to inform the public about the crucial but generally unrecognized role Earth scientists play for society at large for sustainable development and management. 

Wolfgang Eder: The ‘Earth Science Matters’ Foundation  – a new platform to promote Earth Sciences in Society in the follow-on of the IYPE (keynote)

  • Aberra Mogessi: Geoscience outreach: how the Earth Science Matters Foundation can support geoscience education in Africa and the sustainable utilization of the continent’s earth resources
  • Frits Agterberg: Outreach support for Earth Science organizations: the IAMG
  • Roland Oberhänsli: Outreach support for Earth Science organizations: the ILP
  • Eduardo de Mulder: Lessons learned: potentials and limitations for institutional geoscience outreach
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