Continental Shelves during the Last Glacial Cycle:
Knowledge and Applications
click for full resolution logo
List of participants (403 from 43 countries)
5th Annual Conference
St. Petersburg (Russia)
May 30-June 5 2005
first circular and call for papers
La Plata (Argentina) Sept. 20-23 2005
In February 2001 Unesco approved a five-year International Geological Correlation Project entitled “Continental Shelves during last glacial cycle. Knowledge and applications” (IGCP464). More than 120 emails and letters of support from some 25 countries, including several from groups of scientists were collected for proposal submission. The project is a follow-up of the previous IGCP396 “Continental shelves during the Quaternary”.
At present (2003) the project involves some 362 researchers from 39 countries, conferences have been held in Hong Kong (China), S.Paolo (Brazil), Vancouver (Canada), Gdansk (Poland), Wollongong (Australia). Next conferences in Rome (Italy), Buenos Aires (Argentina), St. Petesburg (Russia).
The project aims to define the palaeoenvironmental evolution of the continental shelves, particularly leading into and since the Last Glacial Maximum. This will include the processes that have produced the present morphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology.
(frequently asked question s)
IGCP464 participates to
How to contact us
PROJECT PROPOSAL (approved in 2001)
|What is IGCP?|
| The International Geological
Correlation Programme (IGCP) is a joint endeavour betweenUNESCO (United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and IUGS (International
Union of Geological Sciences). It was launched in 1972 to facilitate
cooperation among geoscientists across frontiers and boundaries. Its
objective is to bring scientists from around the world together and enhance
interaction, particularly between North and South, through joint research
work, meetings and workshops.
This goal is accomplished by establishing 5-years long, subject specific projects. Projects are typically world-scale; at present some 40 projects are active.
The level of funding is of some thousand of US dollars per year; funding is mainly devoted to support scientists from developing countries to participate to the annual conferences and meetings. Additional information is available at http://www.unesco.org/science/earthsciences/igcp/background.htm .
| What is
| IGCP project 464 was approved
and established in 2001 to discuss and compare data on continental shelf
evolution during the last climatic/eustatic/depositional cycle. This interdisciplinary
project brings together researchers specializing in a variety fields within
geology, geography, archaeology, and climatology. Through investigation,
synthesis of ideas, and collaboration with colleagues, greater understanding
will be achieved about the character and controlling factors influencing
global shelf evolution. It is anticipated that advancements will be
made in the understanding of global shelf geometry, paleogeography, paleomorphology,
carbon budgeting, cultural heritage, as well as in stratigraphic sequencing
methods and models and training. It is hoped that researchers from
developing countries may find a scientific environment where research topics
are expressed in a "friendly" manner, and ideas may be easily transmitted.
For further information see project proposal .
| How Can
| You may participate in
the project by: a) sending an e-mail to email@example.com ; you will
then be included in the mailing list and receive newsletters; b) participating
in the web discussion forum; c) participating in annual meetings (2002
Brazil, 2003 Oceania, 2004 Italy, 2005 South Africa/Egypt) or to regional
meetings (May 2003 in Poland and May 2003 in Canada)
| Can I
| Funding is not available
for data acquisition. The program is intended to advance knowledge through
communication and cooperation. IGCP is not a funding agency and the limited
funds available are for "catalytic purposes"; which means that funds are
available only for RESEARCHERS FROM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES to participate in
Project meetings. You may apply for such funds when submitting an abstract
in the “call-for-papers” issued for each meeting, or by writing an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader of Physical stratigraphy Working Group
Leader of Chemical Stratigraphy Working Group
Leader of Applied AspectsWorking Group
Leader of Influence on human culture Working Group
Francesco L. Chiocci
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Roma "La Sapienza "
School of Geosciences, University of Woolongong
GeoSciences Marines IFREMER - Centre du Brest DRO/GM
School of Geosciences, University of Woolongong
Department of Earth Sciences, The University of Hong Kong
University of Victoria, Dept. of Geography/Geological Survey of Canada
Division 2. Quaternary, environmental and engineering geosciences
Also related to: Divisions 1, 3 and 4.
Short title of the project
Continental Shelves during the Last Glacial Cycle: Knowledge and Applications
Full title of the project
Palaeoenvironmental evolution of Continental Shelves during the Last Glacial Cycle
Prof. Francesco L. Chiocci and Prof. Allan R. Chivas
Mailing addresses, names, telephone, fax, e-mail
Francesco Latino Chiocci, Dipartimento Scienze della terra, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Roma, Italy
phone 39 06 44585075 fax 39 06 44585080 e-mail email@example.com
Allan R. Chivas, School of Geosciences, University of Wollongong NSW 2522, Australia.
Phone 61 2 42213263 fax 61 2 42214250 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Scale of the project
Brief outline of the project
(a) To compare and contrast the global development of continental shelves, particularly with respect to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This requires compilation of various styles of shelves (e.g. tidal/non-tidal, high/low energy, well-fed/sediment-starved, glaciated/non-glaciated). The definition of a common terminology and the development of methods to depict graphically LGM features on shelves.
(b) To understand the geometry and palaeogeography of shelves (and exposed shelves at/near the LGM), their incised or truncated river valleys; and the isolation and diversion of water masses as seaways narrowed or closed near the LGM.
(c) To understand the palaeoclimate and sea-surface palaeotemperatures near the LGM from key areas, in particular those in tropical areas, using combined trace-element and stable-isotope methods applied to corals, molluscs and foraminifers.
(d) To investigate the imprint of higher-frequency climatic events (e.g. Younger Dryas, Heinrich events) on continental shelves.
(e) The application of seismic methods to identify the palaeomorphology of shelf deposits and the testing of sequence-stratigraphic methods/models from more ancient materials to younger sediments. The application of multibeam bathymetric mapping and regional digital terrain images to continental shelves.
(f) Investigation of the carbon budget of shelf deposition and exposure.
(g) To investigate other applied aspects (mineral deposits, geotechnical and engineering properties) and the cultural heritage of palaeoenvironmental changes of shelves (e.g. human, floral and faunal migrations across archipelagic and land bridges).
(h) An emphasis on research training in modern methods for shelf studies, by an integrated series of workshops delivered in developing countries, and by visits and research exchange with key laboratories (seismic interpretation, geochemical and isotopic laboratories, geotechnical facilities).
(i) Synthesis of results in publications throughout the life of the project and culminating in an edited monograph that incorporates reviews and advances in continental-shelf research.
Estimated duration of the project
Tentative work schedule
2001 : Initial organisational and field meeting in Hong Kong (directed by Wyss Yim, co-leader of the outgoing IGCP-396 Quaternary Shelves project); field visits to engineering and coring-technology and geotechnical facilities. This is a possible joint meeting with the 5th International Conference on the Palaeoenvironment of the Asia-Pacific Region (tentatively dated late October 2001) and will attract participants principally from China, South-east and North Asia and Australasia.
Election of office-bearers and establishment of Working Groups. At present we plan the formation of 3 working groups covering Physical Stratigraphy (e.g. Gilles Lericolais (France), Francisco Hernandez-Molina (Spain) and Francesco L. Chiocci (Italy)); Chemical Stratigraphy (e.g. Michael Gagan and Allan Chivas, Australia); and Applied Aspects i.e. resources, geotechnics and management (e.g. Wyss Yim (China) and Keith Tovey (UK)).
Establish an email listserver and webpage. This would proceed immediately upon approval of the new project, and build upon the excellent electronic communications established for IGCP-396 at East Anglia by Keith Tovey. We plan to adopt and expand another 396 innovation, that is, the addition of all ‘new project’ conference posters to the web-site. Furthermore, one of our principal objectives is the establishment of a major training strand (e.g. seismic interpretation, geotechnical testing, chemical and isotopic analyses, dating methods) and fullsome lecture-notes of such workshops will be progressively added to the website.
Presentation of first training courses including fibre-optic cable route surveys as a source of research information.
Preparation of first annual report
2002 : Symposium and field meeting in New Zealand (probably October; organised by Tim Naish, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences); field trip to Wanganui to examine a remarkably long uplifted shelf sequence.
Laboratory work (chemical/isotopic) at University of Wollongong throughout the year with laboratory visits to Wollongong for participants en route to New Zealand.
Compilation of a list of project publications; solicit high-quality scientific papers (in advance of annual meeting) for publication in a special volume of an international scientific journal, from 2001 and 2002 meetings.
Review progress of Working Groups
Preparation of Second Annual Report
2003: Symposium and field meeting in Brazil just before or after South American Quaternary meeting (probably May; in Niteroi or Sao Paulo coastal research station; organised by Alberto Figueiredo and Michel Michaelovitch de Mahiques).
Presentation of training courses
Continuation of laboratory work and laboratory training
Review progress of Working Groups
Preparation of Third Annual Report
2004: Symposium just before or after the IGC Congress in Florence, Italy (September 2004) (Francesco L. Chiocci to co-ordinate). A special symposium at IGC with presentation of selected papers will be organised as well.
Planning and soliciting of multi-authored papers for a monograph that incorporates reviews and advances in the field of continental-shelf studies. The book would be edited to be a coherent and full statement on the subject, and not simply a compendium of contributed items.
Preparation of the Fourth Annual report
2005: Final-year Symposium and field meeting. Africa (either Egypt or South Africa, are the currently discussed possibilities).
Publication of all the posters presented in the five annual meetings in electronic format (CD).
Presentation of training courses
Publication of monograph on continental shelves
Preparation of Final Project Report
Results expected of the
(a) In theoretical sciences
1. Enhanced understanding of the features and styles of relict and modern shelf deposits (seismic signatures, geometries, chemical and isotopic signatures) in various environments (variable energy and tidal range, degree of sediment delivery, latitude).
2. Understanding the environmental conditions (i.e. wave-energy, extent of glaciers/coral reefs, type of vegetation, temperature of surface water, palaeohydrology) at the LGM and during the last sea-level rise.
3. Estimation of shelf carbon budgets and storage at the LGM compared to modern shelf environments including C-13 measurements in cores and seismic mapping of shelves affected by methane-related acoustic turbidity. The results of this task will be a contribution to the co-IGCP project on Global Carbon.
(b) Applied sciences and technology
1. Mapping of continental shelves and shelf breaks as assistance to countries, particularly less-developed countries, in the perspective of submissions on shelf geometries for claims under the Law of the Sea Convention.
2. Second edition of the world map, and first editions of various national and regional maps, showing the extent and character of continental-shelf sediments (particularly at 20ka BP). Our project will be a primary data-gathering group that will liaise with INQUA Commissions including the Commission on Palaeo-climate to continue where the earlier CLIP (Climates of the Past) IUGS/UNESCO activity finished, and the Commission on Sea-level and Coastal Evolution.
3. Compilation of the geotechnical properties of shelf sediments, particularly of those materials previously exposed at the LGM. Application to coastal engineering and coastal management including offshore oil-platform installations and the sustainable utilization of shelves.
(c) Benefits to society
1. Several of the above which bear on economic development and resources e.g. shelf mapping and communication/hydrocarbon exploitation.
2. Training of participants from less-developed countries by short-courses and in hands-on laboratory visits and analytical work (e.g. in seismic interpretation, geotechnical properties, and isotopic data). There is the opportunity for these participants to co-operate in a high-level scientific debate with low-cost and easy-to-perform data collection and compilation (i.e. shelf geomorphology and bathymetry)
3. Studies of the resource assessment and genesis of shallow marine placer deposits and sand and gravel resources (in conjunction with INQUA’s Quaternary Economic Deposits Committee).
4. Definition of the cultural heritage of climatic/eustatic events. The exposed shelves are likely to have been colonised by human communities during palaeolithic time (because of the flatness of the area, proximity to the sea, resources availability); if material remains were inundated during sea-level rise, cultural remains can be found in most of the cultures (golden age, flooding events).
The following sequential results are expected
2001: Promulgation of the project’s objectives, and relevance
to society, in national and international journals and magazines and via
the website. Choice of key sites for further work (e.g. Black Sea, east coast
of South America, Mediterranean Sea, Southeast Asian/Australasian epicontinental
seaways). Assembly of small teams to focus on these areas. These areas may
form the core of the subject matter for the monograph to be published in
year 5, to be built upon year by year. Production of abstracts of first
annual meeting. First training workshop and laboratory exchanges. Encouragement
of participants to use the IGCP Project as a lever and as support for funding
from national sources and in seeking access to non-confidential industrial
data (e.g. cable or geotechnical surveys) especially in developing countries.
2002: Second annual meeting and abstract volume; all articles and posters to be available on the website. Production of a catalogue of shelf sites into types, and this information used to begin developing models of their genesis and to assist in expanding/applying/modifying classification to other areas. Tentative definition of the amount of methane stored in deltas depending on climate and river size. Training workshops and laboratory visits continue.
2003: Third annual meeting. Training workshops and laboratory visits continue. Production of a special issue of a journal devoted to this shelf project. Report on progress to be published in Episodes.
2004: Fourth annual meeting. Training workshops for this year to be integrated into the short courses on offer at the International Geological Congress (Florence).
2005: Final meeting. Further training workshops as required. Publication of a monograph. Publication of all the posters presented in the five annual meetings in electronic format. Publication of summary of project outcomes in Episodes and other channels.
The present state of activities
IGCP-396 assembled a large team of researchers who work on the continental shelf. After four years, most members have met, exchanged views and realise the benefits of research collaboration. The gathering at the IGC in Rio was a watershed in this subject matter, even though it came late in IGCP-396’s life. The terminating project presented 47 posters from members as well as an oral session with five invited speakers and additional oral presentations in several other sessions.
During three business meetings in Rio, key opportunities and problems in shelf research were discussed. The principal description of our proposed successor project (Item 16 in this application) addresses these opportunities.
Servico de Hidrografia Naval; Depto. Oceanografia
Centro de Geociencias Aplicadas; Facultad de Ingenieria - UNNE Chaco
Antarctic Division; Department of Science
Australian Oceanographic Data Centre (AODC)
Department of Geology; University of Newcastle
Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO)
Department of Earth Sciences; Flinders University of South Australia
School of Geosciences; University of Wollongong;
School of Geosciences; University of Sydney;
School of Applied Geology; Curtin University of Technology;
Department of Geology and Geophysics; University of New England;
Department of Applied Geology; University of Technology, Sydney;
Research School of Earth Sciences; The Australian National University,
Department of Geology; The Australian National University,
Division of Archaeology & Natural History; Australian National University;
Department of Geology & Geophysics; University of Adelaide;
Department of Geology; University of Tasmania
Department of Geology & Mining; University of Rajshahi;
Department of Geography; Jahangirnagar University;
Department of Geography; University of Rajshahi
Department of Geology; Stratigraphy and Sedimentology Division, Gent
Institut Oceanografico; Universidade de Sao Paulo
Universitad Fluminense - Niteroi
Department of Botany; Biological Faculty University of Sofia
Department of Hydrogeochemistry; Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Department of Marine Geology; Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Deaprtment of Sedimentology; Geological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Groupe de Recherche en Environnement; Universite du Quebec
Centre for Marine Geology; Dalhousie University
Geological Survey of Canada
Atlantic Geoscience Centre; Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Department of Earth Sciences and Geography; Brock University;
Department of Geology & Geological Engineering; Universite Laval;
Department of Geography & Geotop; University of Montreal at Montreal;
Facultad de Recursos del Mar; Universidad de Antofagasta
Department of Geography; East China Normal University
South China Sea Institute of Oceanology; Academia Sinica
Institute of Oceanology; Academia Sinica;
Institute of Geology and Geophysics; Chinese Academy of Sciences
Marine Geology Department; Tongji University
Nanjing Institute of Geology & Paleontology; Academia Sinica
Guangzhou Marine Geological Analysis Center; Guangzhou
First Institute of Oceanography; SOA
College of Marine Geosciences; Ocean University of Qingdao
Institute of Marine Geology; MGMR
Department of Marine Geology; Institute of Oceanology;
Department of Geo- and Ocean Sciences; Nanjing University
Institute of Marine Geology; Qingdao
Tianjin Institute of Geology & Mineral Resources; Tianjin
Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes; Academia Sinica
Department of Geology; Zhongshan University;
Second Institute of Oceanography; State Oceanic Administration
State Pilot Lab of Coast & Island Exploitation; Nanjing University
Department of Earth Sciences; The University of Hong Kong
Geological Survey of Hong Kong
EGS (Asia) Limited
Fugro Geotechnical Services Limited
Lam Geotechnics Limited
Bachy Soletanche Limited
Gammon Construction Limited
China - Taiwan
Institute of Marine Geology and Chemistry; National Sun Yat-sen University
Institute of Earth Sciences; Academia Sinica
Institute of Oceanography; National Taiwan University
Department of Geology; National Taiwan University
Czech Geological Survey; Klarov
Department of Geology; Cairo University
Department of Geography; The University of the South Pacific
GeoSciences Marines; IFREMER - Centre du Brest
Centre de Sedimentologie et Paleontologie; Universite de Provence
Laboratoire de Geographie Physique; CNRS
Department of Geography; University of Marburg
Baltic Sea Research Institute
Forschungsstelle fuer Archaeometrie; Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften
Geographisches Institut; Univesitaet zu Koln;
Geological Institute; University of Muenster
Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe
Institute of Biochemistry and Marine Chemistry, Hamburg University
National Institute of Oceanography; Dona Paula
Department of Ecological Studies; School of Environmental Sciences
Geological Survey of India
Marine Geology and Geophyics Department; Cochin University of Science and Technology
Chemical Oceanography Division; National Institute of Oceanography
Dept of Geotechnology; Indonesian Institute of Sciences
Coastal Resources Centre; University College Cork
Department of Geography; Ben Ilan University
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Institue for Nature Conservation Research; Tel Aviv University
CNR - Istituto Geologia Marina, Bologna
CNR - Istituto Geomare Sud, Napoli
Dip. di Geologia e Geofisica, Università di Bari
Dip. di Sc. della Terra, Univ. di Ancona
Dip. di Sc. Terra e Geol. Ambientali, Univ. di Bologna
Dip. Geologia e Geodesia, Università di Palermo
Dip. Scienze della Terra, Univ. di Roma La Sapienza
Dip. Scienze della Terra, Univ. Napoli Federico II
Dip.Territorio e Risorse, Università di Genova
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Univ. Firenze
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra,Univ. di Cagliari
ENEA - C.R.A.M. S.Teresa, LA SPEZIA
Enea, Dip. Ambiente, Roma
Ist. Geodinamica e Sedimentologia, Univ. Urbino
Ist. Sc. Geologiche Ambientali e Marine, Trieste
Ist. Cent. Ricerca Applicata al Mare, Roma
Istituto di Scienze del Mare, Università di Ancona
Servizio Geologico d'Italia
Department of Geology; The University of West Indies, Kingstone
Institute of Geology & Paleontology; Faculty of Science, Tohoku University, Sendai
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences; Kyushu University
Laboratory of Geography; University of Ryukus
Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Sciences, Chikusa-ku
Department of Geosciences; Osaka City University
Graduate School of Science & Technology; Niigata University
Location of main field activities
Potential sites derive from continental-shelf areas world-wide that provide a record of the variable environments of the last glacial cycle and, in particular, the Last Glacial Maximum. Key locations will be subject to team study with a strong sense of collaboration among representatives from several countries at each site, and aided by introductory work particularly during annual or regional on-site project meetings. Several teams are in place, following extensive discussions at the IGC in Rio (e.g. see sequential results for 2001).
Location of major laboratory
During the life of IGCP-396, attempts were made, with only modest success, to involve participants from less-developed countries in aspects of technology transfer, upgrading of skills and opportunities to work in established laboratory facilities. A major difficulty lies in funding these activities, both for travel for visits and for the bench-costs of undertaking these analyses. We have come to realise that the bench-costs can be reduced or eliminated if visitors are able to prepare their samples, by simple methods, in their own countries, thereby saving time as well as money, prior to submitting to/visiting an established laboratory.
Accordingly, we plan to redouble our efforts in this regard, and announced at the closing IGCP-396 business meeting in Rio (August 2000) that several laboratories would act as hosts for a successor project, should it be approved. Several joint researches were immediately planned, and it is probable that analytical work will commence before a successor project is in place. Thus, samples from the continental shelves of Brazil and Argentina will be analysed for organic content, C-13 and N-15 shortly, in research involving participants from those countries who had not been previously able to fully participate in IGCP-396 due to lack of funds, for travel to its annual meetings. Applications for travel funds from national sources and exchange of personnel have been sought to support this endeavour.
The principal laboratories that have agreed to support such exchanges, particularly for work from developing countries are University of East Anglia, UK (geotechnics), University of Rome (seismic interpretation), IFREMER, Brest, France (data processing and seismic interpretation), University of Wollongong, Australia (chemical and isotopic analyses) and University of Hong Kong (field and laboratory testing of engineering properties of shelf deposits).
Thus laboratory work will be undertaken, at least at the preparatory level, in many countries listed in this application. However, the detailed geochronological and chemical analyses involving more expensive equipment will be largely performed in Europe, North America and Australasia. We have specifically identified some of those laboratories, at this early stage, and expect this list to grow as the project develops.
Scientific Collaboration: Members of current and past Quaternary-related IGCP projects (e.g. carbon cycle, karst, long rivers, dryland changes, and continental shelves) held a business meeting in Rio at the IGC to discuss collaboration. The concept of the proposed new project on Continental Shelves during the LGM was presented and collaborative links established between the projects on carbon and rivers. Associate Professor Colin Murray-Wallace, leader of IGCP-437 (‘Coastal Environmental Change during Sea-level Highstands) was unable to be present in Rio, but has since endorsed the current proposal, and indeed provided advice during its preparation. The importance of collaboration between these two projects (one on sea-level high-stands the other focussing on low-stands) is clear. Note that Colin Murray-Wallace and Allan Chivas are colleagues at the same institution, and that their suggestion to merge project-mailing lists will provide a combined membership of nearly 600 scientists.
Our proposed project has collaborative links with INQUA’s Commissions on Sea-level Changes and Coastal Evolution; Palaeoclimate (maps at 20 ka), and its Committee on Quaternary Mineral Deposits. The MARGINS project, coordinated from the USA, has plans to drill the continental margins of Papua New Guinea, Alaska and New Zealand sometime after 2002, and is anticipated to provide further opportunities for scientific collaboration.
The proposal has been prepared by Francesco Chiocci and Allan Chivas and enriched by the discussion held in Rio during three specially devoted IGCP-396 meetings. Specific contributions by Leonid Poliak (Ohio State University, USA), Gilles Lericolais (IFREMER, France), Wyss Yim (University of Hong Kong), Heiner Josenhans (Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada), Colin Murray-Wallace (University of Wollongong, Australia) and Natalia Patyk-Kara (Russian Academy of Sciences) are also part of the proposal.
Attachment 1: Full Description of the Proposed Project
The aim of the project is the definition of the palaeoenvironmental evolution of the continental shelves, leading to their present morphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology. The geological approach to the environment and to its global changes is in fact based on a complete understanding of the long-term cyclicity of natural systems. On the continental margins the leading factor is undoubtedly the very rapid changes in sea level that brought it from -125m during the Last Glacial Maximum (~20ka b.p.) to its present position in little more than 10,000 years at an average rate of 1m/century. The project will therefore be focused especially on the Last Glacial Maximum (hereafter referred as LGM) and to the following sea-level rise. In fact the LGM is a key event in Pleistocene/Holocene environmental evolution, as it represents the main and latest extreme in sea-level and climatic trends at a global scale. The conditions at the LGM on continental shelves and their effects on coastal plains and continental slopes will thus be the "starting point" of the most recent and continuing environmental cycle.
The project follows and originates from the experience of IGCP 396 "Continental Shelves in the Quaternary", that successfully brought together a large number of researchers (some 400 participants from 40 countries) to work and cross-correlate data among different shelves of the world. The focus of the new proposed project was decided trough public and web discussion by IGCP-396 participants, with an intent to narrow the time-span and the topic to the most relevant and important themes that emerged from the previous IGCP initiative.
As LGM features are commonly quite easy to recognise (sharp lithologic contrast, first-order geomorphologic features) and well-known in most of the geological studies of continental shelves, the topic is affordable even with relatively low-cost technologies available in developing countries. Moreover, for most of the relict deposits on the shelf of the last glacial cycle, the time scale is fully encompassed within the range of a number of Quaternary dating methods, and much is within the radiocarbon time-scale. Given the focus of the topic, an effort will be made in defining a common terminology and in developing methods to depict LGM features on shelves, as the main interest will be in the comparison among different areas of the world (tidal/non tidal, high-energy/low-energy, low/high/intermediate latitudes, well-fed/starved, glaciated/non-glaciated shelves). We will also seek evidence for the higher-frequency phenomena, including the Younger Dryas, and Heinrich events.
The continental shelves are, of course, the physiographic province most affected by sea-level fluctuation, that control exposure/submersion of wide areas. However the information on shelf behaviour during glaciation and deglaciation will have particular relevance for the behavior of watercourses in adjoining plains and the position of sources feeding continental slopes.
The following points are the main targets of the proposed project:
DEPTH OF THE EUSTATIC
MINIMUM: According to published oxygen-isotope curves, the LGM is one of
the lowest sea levels of the entire Quaternary, and thus has a very high
potential for preservation and recognition in the sedimentary record, even
with relatively unsophisticated prospecting technologies.
The definition of the maximum depth reached by erosion in the outer shelf/upper slope will give insights on different geological processes occurring at LGM. Relevant questions in this respect are the relationship between the position of the eustatic minimum and shelf edge, between sea level and the depth of erosion, the testing of the eustatic values given by oxygen isotope ratios.
A relevant application of the depth of LGM erosional/depositional features is its use as an indicator of vertical movements within continental margins. As for coastal terraces, neotectonic trends can in fact be inferred if a given sea-level position (previous 120 ka highstand for coastal terraces, last 20ka lowstand for LGM features) can be geologically determined.
PALAEOGEOGRAPHY : During
the last glacial cycle and in particular at the LGM, the amount of subaerially
exposed continental shelf was considerably greater than at present, this
datum being of great importance for climate and carbon cycle studies; the
definition of the lowermost shoreline position on a regional base will give
a precise definition of the maximum sea/land ratio.
In continental margins with complex morphology, the palaeogeography might have been very different, with strong effects on depositional processes. Water masses can have been isolated from the sea creating lakes (as for the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia or Black Sea, Europe), seaways may have been closed (as Messina, Italy) or narrowed thereby forcing currents to deeper passages (as Gibraltar, Spain/Morocco). Straits areas will thus be one of main areas of interest for the project.
The study of the condition of the shelf at the LGM is likely to give relevant information on past climate. Several important questions remain unanswered at present, including major aspects of the following topics:
PALAEO-RAINFALL/PALAEO-HYDROLOGY : During the Würm/Wisconsinian glacial time, continental shelves were exposed and scoured by rivers. Surprisingly, paleovalleys are found even offshore of some of today’s very small rivers, which are currently unable to incise valleys. Even more surprisingly their valleys do not extend down to the maximum depth reached by sea level, but stop at 70-80 m below present sea-level. A palaeo-hydrological model is needed to explain such situations.
In some cases palaeo-valleys on the shelf are not tied to present-day water courses. This information is likely to be used to define relevant palaeo-hydrological features such as the positions of present submerged springs on the coast and different-than-today drainage patterns.
PALAEOCONDITIONS AT LOW LATITUDES: The tropical areas of the world are vital to understanding the evolution of the climate in the recent past, and by inference, the way climate is forced at any time. It is still much debated whether low-latitude sea-surface temperatures during glacial time were similar, marginally cooler or substantially cooler than those of today (although see recent work by Lea et al., 2000: Science 289: 1719-1724). Our project will address this question at a number of locations using O-18 and trace-element data from corals, shells and foraminifers recovered by coring and dredging at water depths of ~125m.
Other key climatic questions relate to the presence/absence/reduced intensity of palaeomonsoons at the LGM, and seek to determine global climate, circulation and heat budgets/transfers different at this time.
PALAEOCONDITIONS AT HIGH LATITUDES: During the last glacial cycle a sizeable portion of high-latitude continental shelf was occupied by ice sheets. Knowledge of glaciation limits by morphological/sedimentological features is required for an estimate of the spatial and volumetric characteristics of shelf ice masses and accurate assessment of sea-level change and sea/land ratio. Ice sheets on the shelf were inherently unstable, being controlled by sea level. Therefore shelf glaciation played a critical role in the dynamics of deglaciation. Presently the LGM glacial extents on the continental shelf are insufficiently understood, especially in northern Eurasia. New data from glaciated shelves will aid in determining the ice-sheet limits and the timing and patterns of the last deglaciation.
PALAEO WAVE CLIMATE: A very peculiar feature of the sediments deposited at the LGM is their two-dimensional (tabular) geometry, as opposed to the strong three-dimensionality of the transgressive and highstand deposits that are always related to point sources. Lowstand deltas at the shelf edge are very rare and if present, they are far thinner and are elongated parallel to the palaeo-coast than are present deltas, despite the lowering of rivers’ base-levels and exposure of the shelf at the LGM.
If the longshore redistribution of sediments were much more effective during glacial periods that during inter-glacials, such evidence may give information on palaeo-wave or longshore current energy.
PALAEOMORPHOLOGY/ Incision process: The deposits making-up the continental shelves are truncated at their top by an erosional unconformity thought to be formed by shelf exposure during the last glaciation. Actually the surface is extremely flat, much flatter than any subaerial errosional surface. In most of the cases, shoreface erosion during the ensuing transgression re-worked their surface but in places where palaeo-crust or backshore/shoreface deposits are found, a reconstruction of the palaeo-morphology can be possible, with an estimate of the amount of sediment eroded by ravine-forming processes. Such information can be used to estimate the amount of sand scraped from the shelf, transported shoreward during the later transgression and forming the core of present-day littoral wedges.
STRATIGRAPHY: As the LGM is a key moment in the sedimentary evolution of continental margins, a better definition of the depositional models for the Late Pleistocene can be attempted. Is it possible to define any peculiar feature strictly indicating the LGM or lowstand, discriminating among the latter and the deposits tied to the sea-level fall? Can sequence-stratigraphic models encompassing a three-fold (or four-fold, if forced regression is considered) development of depositional sequences be applied to the high-frequency, high-amplitude, asymmetric glacioeustatic cycles? Are sedimentary models that predict processes similar to those of the present-day correct? Is there any relevant and constant difference between these two eustatic settings that has to be considered?
HERITAGE IN HUMAN
CULTURE: Climatic- and eustatic-driven changes of the physical environment
may have left deep traces on human culture. Shelf areas, that during lowstand
were flat coastal plains suitable for human settlements, experienced dramatic
changes because of glacioeustasy; as an example, during deglaciation an
average rate of 1m/century of sea-level rise was reached, that may account
for metre or metres per year of coastal retreat in low-gradient shelves.
The constant rise in base level and the damming of the incised valleys by
transgressive littoral barriers favoured river flooding and formation of
coastal marshes and swamps. In key areas, as in the Black Sea where the
Dardanelles and Bosphorus acted as a plug with respect to the Mediterranean
water masses, catastrophic flooding of the continental shelf was inferred
(Ryan et al., 1997). Saltwater poured through this spillway to refill the
lake and submerged more than 100,000 km2 of its previously subaerially exposed
continental shelf. If this drowning had occurred, it must have accelerated
the dispersal of the Neolithic population into the interior of Europe at
Possible migration routes and civilization trends (compartmentalisation of cultures during the Upper Palaeolithic for instance) may have a link with the palaeoenvironmental changes of the shelf. Episodes present troughout different cultures (as the golden age or the flood) may also be linked to such changes.
APPLICATIONS : The project
is aimed at increasing the scientific knowledge of processes and features
related to the LGM, through a comparison of different situations at a global
scale. Several possible applications can be considered:
1) Collection of information relevant to define the Carbon Cycle and budget in the recent past as information on vegetation on exposed shelves, storage of methane in deltaic deposits during highstand, possible abrupt release of gas hydrates by large-scale mass failure at shelf edges during sea level fall/lowstand ; 2) The role of the tropical epicontinental seas and exposed large shelf areas during the LGM as controls on global climate (El Niño at the LGM, palaeomonsoons); 3) Changes in coastline orientation and closure of straits as controlling factors for coastal currents; 4) Neotectonics as vertical mobility of a segment of coast may be inferred by the depth of the LGM sea-level markers; 5) Hydrology indications as position of lowstand springs and drainage pattern, behaviour of water table; 6) Data for defining the long-term littoral sedimentary budget (possible definition of the present-day underfed beaches as relict features from last sea-level rise) 7) Palaeoanthropology for land-bridges and archipelagoes formed during the LGM as routes for human migration, human environment at LGM, remains on cultural heritage of eustatic-driven environmental changes); 8) Lowstand shelf mineral resources (placer deposits of diamonds, tin, gold, sand and gravel); 9) Engineering Geology (engineering properties of shelf deposits); 10) Coastal Management (sustainable utilisation of shelves).
The principal elements of the work plan are covered in the main body of the text. These include:
(a) The tentative work schedule (Item 9), including the establishment of three working groups (Note that IGCP-396 initially had up to 6 working groups, but that these quickly reduced to 3 or 4, all of which could be productive and were central to the aim of the project).
(b) The outline of the project (Item 7) which is effectively its aims.
(c) The major proposal (Item 16) which outlines the principal questions to be addressed.
(d) The emphasis on our workshop training plan. In addition to workshop presentations at annual or regional meetings, we have identified at least three project members who commonly travel widely and who have offered to maintain a set of teaching materials (e.g. slides, text handout) and present, at short notice, seminars/workshops of opportunity, particularly in less-developed countries.
(e) Our research-exchange plan, to provide key laboratories for analytical work/data interpretation and to actively make opportunities available for laboratory-based visits and training.
(f) Our publication strategy; namely, abstracts and posters from all meetings to be entered on the website; a major journal publication on contributions in 2002; a final monograph in 2005.
(g) Contribution to, and encouragement of national and global maps of shelf sediments, and shelf sediment-facies at 20ka.
Curricula Vitae of the Proposers
Francesco L. Chiocci
- Born in Gubbio, Perugia, 22 August 1959
- Degree in Geology (110 with honours) and PhD in Earth Sciences at University of Rome "La Sapienza"
- From 1988 to 1993 researcher at National Research Council (CNR) Centre for Technical Geology, Rome
- From 1993 to 1998 researcher at National Research Council (CNR) Centre for Quaternary and Environmental Evolution, Rome
- From 1998 Associate Professor at University of Rome "La Sapienza", teaching courses in Littoral Dynamics, Marine Geology and General Geology.
- Member of the Italian Association for the Quaternary (AIQUA), Geological Society of Italy (SGI), International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS)
From 1993 to 1999 was secretary of CROP Project (joint venture among CNR-AGIP-ENEL for deep seismic crustal study).
In 1994 was in charge of seismostratigraphic analysis offshore Montalto di Castro nuclear plant to study active faulting and neotectonics of the area. The study was commissioned by the Minister of the Environment through the Italian Geological Survey.
Since 1994 co-ordinates a research group of about twenty researchers of the University of Rome and National Research Council to study present-day depositional processes on the sub aerial and marine basin of the Ombrone River (Tuscany).
In 1997-98 was in charge of an Italian-Spanish joint project (CNR-CSIC) aimed to study sedimentary record on continental margins.
Participated in 25 oceanographic cruises (about half of them as chief scientist) mainly in the Tyrrhenian Sea but also in the Red Sea, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and Antarctica.
Presented a proposal to the European Community to use TOBI deep-sea vehicle to study instability on the flanks of Italian volcanic Islands (T.I.VOL.I. cruise). The proposal was accepted and he was Chief Scientist on the cruise in September-October 1998 (http://gea.geo.uniroma1.it/tivoliweb/t1.html).
In 1998-2000 was National Representative and leader of the Sequence Stratigraphy Working Group of the International Geological Correlation Program (IGCP-396) "Continental Shelves in Quaternary."
Performed occasional review of scientific articles for Marine Geology, Sedimentology, Geological Society Sp. Pub., Il Quaternario, Bollettino and Memorie Società Geologica Italiana, Giornale di Geologia.
At present is Scientific Director of geological mapping (1:50.000) of marine areas of geological sheets 53 (Montalto di Castro), 354 (Tarquinia), 413 (Borgo Grappa). Is also member of the national commission for the definition of mapping procedures.
At present is responsible for a three-year (2000-2002) National Project of the Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology to study instability on the flanks of Italian volcanic islands.
At present is in charge of seismic data acquisition and interpretation in a joint-project between University of Rome and Latium Government to search and exploit relict transgressive beaches for littoral artificial nourishment.
List of articles
Chiocci, F.L., Orlando,L., Tortora,P., 1991, Small-scale seismic stratigraphy and paleogeographical evolution of the continental shelf facing the SE Elba Island (northern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy) Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, 61, 4, 506-526
Chiocci, F.L. and Clifton, H.E., 1991, Gravel-filled gutter cast in nearshore facies - indicators of ancient shoreline trend; "From shoreline to abyss, contributions in marine geology honoring Francis Parker Shepard", Special Publication SEPM, 46, 67-76.
Chiocci, F.L. and Normark, W.R., 1991, Effect of sea-level variation on upper-slope depositional processes offshore of Tiber delta, Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy. Marine Geology, 104, 109-122.
Chiocci, F.L., 1994,Very High-resolution seismics as a tool for sequence stratigraphy applied to outcrop scale.- Examples from eastern Tyrrhenian margin Holocene/Pleistocene deposits AAPG Bulletin, 78, 3, 378-395
Bellotti P., F.L. Chiocci , S. Milli, P. Tortora, P. Valeri, 1994 Sequence Stratigraphy and Depositional Setting of the Tiber Delta: integration of high-resolution seismics, well log and archaeological data. Journal of Sedimentary Research, B64, 3, 416-432
Chiocci F.L., Esu F., Tommasi P., Chiappa V, 1996, Stability of submarine slope of the Tiber River delta. in: Landslides - Glissements de terrain, K.Senneset (Ed.), Balkema, Rotterdam, 521-526
Chiocci F.L. and L. Orlando, 1996 Lowstand terraces on Tyrrhenian Sea steep continental slopes, Marine Geology, 134, 127-143
Chiocci F.L., Ercilla G. and Torres J. ,1997, Stratal architecture of Western Mediterranean Margins as the result of the stacking of Quaternary lowstand deposits below "glacio-eustatic fluctuation base-level. Sedimentary Geology,112 (3-4), 195-217
Ercilla, B. Alonso; J. Baraza; D. Casas; F.L. Chiocci; F. Estrada; M. Farràn; E. Gonthier; F. Pérez-Belzuz; C. Pirmez; M. Reeder; J. Torres; R. Urgeles (1998) New high-resolution data from the "braided system" of the Orinoco deep sea fan. Marine Geology (146)1-4,243-250
Tommasi P., Chiocci F.L., Esu F. (1998) Geotechnical properties of Soft Clayey Sediments from the Submerged Tiber River Delta, Italy. Marine Georesources and Geotechnology, 16, 221-242
Chiocci F.L., 2000, Depositional response to Quaternary 4th order sea level falls on the northern Latium margin (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy). In: D.Hunt and R. Gawthorpe (Eds),Sedimentary Responses to Forced Regressions, Special Publication of Geological Society of London,172, 271-289.
Allan R Chivas
- Born in Sydney, Australia, 14 May 1950.
- BSc with First Class Honours (1972), PhD (1977), University of Sydney.
- 1977-78: Visiting Scientist, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park.
- 1978-79: Research Fellow, Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, Nancy, France.
- 1979-1995: Research Fellow to Senior Fellow; Group Leader, Environmental Geochemistry, Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University.
- 1995 - : Professor of Geosciences, University of Wollongong (Head of School, 1995-1999).
Low-temperature geochemistry - Chemical, C-14, Cl-36 and stable-isotope studies of the formation and evolution of modern and ancient lake basins, coral reefs, near-shore and deep-sea sediments, weathering profiles and laterites. Chemical hydrology, palaeoceanography and atmospheric chemistry. Geochemistry and isotopic studies of mineral deposits.
Conference Convener (selection)
1986 Session F3 on "Isotopes in palaeoenvironments and dating" of the 12th International Sedimentological Congress, Canberra.
1990 Symposium 6, "The first few metres: isotope geochemistry at the Earth's surface", 7th Int. Conf. Geochronology, Cosmochronology and Isotope Geology, Canberra. Also member of general and program committees and co-convenor of field-trip committee.
1993 1st Australian and New Zealand Meeting on Quaternary Dating (Canberra - Co-convener with R. Grün)
1994 Symposium 7, "Paleoclimate reconstruction using isotopic tracers - the continental record of paleoclimate", 8th Int. Conf. Geochronology, Cosmochronology and Isotope Geology, Berkeley, California.
1997 Climates of the Past (UNESCO/IUGS) meeting, Cairns/Atherton/Townsville.
1991-1993 Organizing Committee, 6th International Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Conference (Canberra/Sydney)
1992-1993 Organizing Committee, 6th International Paleolimnology Conference/inter-INQUA Conference (Canberra)
1993-1995 Australian representative; Sedimentary and Geochemical Processes Panel, (CanAus alternate member); Ocean Drilling Program.
1994-1999 Steering Committee, CLIP (Climates of the Past) project of the International Union of Geological Sciences and UNESCO; from 1997, chairman of the project.
1996-2000 Leader, Working Group on Dating within IGCP-396 project on Continental Shelves in the Quaternary.
1999- Treasurer, International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA).
1999- Secretary, INQUA Committee on Quaternary Economic Deposits.
National Committees (selection)
1980-1986 Geological Society of Australia, Commonwealth Territories' Division. Treasurer 1980-83; Vice-Chairman 1984; Chairman 1985-1986.
1993-1996 National Committee for Quaternary Research, Australian Academy of Science.
1993-1997 Consortium for Ocean Geosciences (COGS) of Australian Universities.
1995- Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Specialist Committee, Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering. (chairman since 1998)
(e) Six special issues for Chemical Geology; Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology ; J. Paleolimnology; AGU monograph.
(f) At various times, member of the editorial advisory boards of Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology; International Journal of Salt Lake Research; Quaternary Geochronology; AGSO Australian Journal of Geology and Geophysics.
Membership of Learned Societies
International Quaternary Association
The American Geophysical Union
The Geochemical Society
Geological Society of America
Geological Society of Australia
Australasian Quaternary Association
Australian Marine Sciences
Australian Coral Reef Society
Society of Economic Geologists
Major Relevant Research Projects (selection)
Environmental geochemistry of the Great Barrier Reef. Salt Lakes and evaporites in Australia. Saline Lakes and fjords in Antarctica. Quaternary marine palaeoclimate around Australia. Quaternary record of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
123 publications in international journals, those below are a selection relevant to the proposed IGCP Project.
1985 Torgersen, T. and Chivas, A.R. Terrestrial organic carbon in marine sediment: a preliminary balance for a mangrove environment derived from _13C. Chem. Geol. 52: 379-390.
1985 Chivas, A.R., De Deckker, P. and Shelley, J.M.G. Strontium content of ostracods indicates lacustrine palaeosalinity. Nature, 316: 251-253.
1986 Chivas, A.R., Chappell, J., Polach, H., Pillans, B. and Flood, P. Radiocarbon evidence for the timing and rate of island development, beach-rock formation and phosphatization at Lady Elliot Island, Queensland, Australia. Marine Geol., 69: 273-287.
1986 Chivas, A.R., De Deckker, P. and Shelley, J.M.G. Magnesium content of non-marine ostracods: a new palaeosalinometer and palaeothermometer. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol., 54: 43-61.
1988 De Deckker, P., Chivas, A.R., Shelley, J.M.G. and Torgersen, T. Ostracod shell chemistry: a new palaeoenvironmental indicator applied to a trangressive/regressive record from the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol., 66: 231-241.
1988 De Deckker, P., Chivas, A.R. and Shelley, J.M.G. Paleoenvironment of the Messinian Mediterranean "Lago Mare" from strontium and magnesium in ostracode shells. Palaios, 3: 352-358.
1990 Chivas, A.R., Torgersen, T. and Polach, H.A. Growth rates and Holocene development of stromatolites from Shark Bay, Western Australia. Aust. J. Earth Sci., 37: 113-121.
1990 Gagan, M.K., Chivas, A.R. and Herczeg, A.L. Shelf-wide erosion, deposition and suspended sediment transport during Cyclone Winifred, central Great Barrier Reef, Australia. J. Sediment. Petrol., 60: 456-470.
1992 Vengosh, A., Starinsky, A., Kolodny, Y., Chivas, A.R. and Raab, M. Boron isotope variations during fractional evaporation of sea water: new constraints on the marine vs. nonmarine debate. Geology, 20: 799-802.
1994 Gagan, M.K., Chivas, A.R. and Isdale, P.J. High-resolution isotopic records from corals using ocean temperature and mass-spawning chronometers. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 121: 549-558.
1995 Gagan, M.K. and Chivas, A.R. Oxygen isotopes in western Australian coral reveal Pinatubo aerosol-induced cooling in the Western Pacific Warm Pool. Geophysical Research Letters, 22: 1069-1072.
1996 Gagan, M.K., Chivas, A.R. and Isdale, P.J. Timing coral-based climatic histories using 13C enrichments driven by synchronized spawning. Geology, 24: 1009-1012.
2000 Chivas, A.R. et al. Sea-level and environmental changes since the Last Interglacial in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia: An overview. Quaternary International (in press).
General aims of the project for the non-specialist
The project aims to define the palaeoenvironmental evolution of the continental shelves, particularly leading into and since the Last Glacial Maximum. This will include the processes that have produced the present morphology, stratigraphy and sedimentology. The project is timely as continental shelves are under increasing pressure of exploitation and require basic scientific understanding followed by better management. Shelf areas are being assessed world-wide, particularly up to 2004, when the Law-of-the-Sea convention on continental margins comes into effect.
Objectives and measurable outputs
The project will synthesise data from continental shelves world-wide and develop a common terminology for their description and depiction on maps and atlases at global and regional scales. On a more fundamental scale, the geometry of shelves, their past sea-surface temperatures, and carbon budgets will be assessed on a regional basis by research teams, using both simple and technologically advanced methods. Applied aspects include the study of palaeomonsoons, palaeohydrology, engineering and geotechnical assessment, and the palaeoanthropological implications of past archipelagic and land bridges.
A key plank of the proposal is an emphasis on research training in modern methods of shelf study by an integrated series of workshops and by research exchanges to advanced facilities and laboratories.
The principal physical outputs include an electronic database of all materials/posters contributed to the project, training workshop manuals, numerous papers in scientific journals, a special volume of contributed papers in 2003, an edited monograph in 2005, and contributions to shelf maps at world, regional and national scales.
Geosciences in the Service of Society
Several of the more applied aspects of the proposed project relate to societal concerns, particularly those that bear on engineering aspects of shelf sediments (shelf mapping for management, geotechnics; laying of submarine optical cables), as do the development of mineral resources (sand, gravel and marine placer deposits of diamonds, tin, gold and other heavy mineral sands).
The characterisation of continental shelves is of prime importance to the convention on the Law of the Sea, and in this regard our research training programs will be of substantial significance to marine geologists, particularly in less developed countries.
There is another aspect to the human dimension on shelves, and it lies in their previous occupation during partial exposure at or near the Last Glacial Maximum. Our project will seek to interpret and integrate aspects of the human heritage of shelves as occupation sites and as corridors for migration.
1. Introduction and Summary
Project 464 bears the full title "Palaeoenvironmental evolution of Continental Shelves during the Last Glacial Cycle with particular reference to the last Glacial Maximum". The project commenced in 2001, as a successor to the 1996-2000 project IGCP-396 (Continental Shelves in the Quaternary).
The project’s first meeting was in Hong Kong in October 2001, and the second annual meeting was in São Paulo and the coastal city of Cananéia, Brazil (30 August-3 September, 2002). The third annual meeting was in Wollongong, Australia (14-19 December, 2003). The project produces an annual newsletter, available on its website (http://tetide.geo.uniroma1.it/igcp464), holds an annual scientific meeting, and one or more regional meetings per year. More than 300 scientists from 35 countries are project members. Professor Francesco Chiocci (University of Rome, Italy) and Allan Chivas (University of Wollongong, Australia) are the co-leaders of the project.
The aims of the project relate to the global development of continental shelves, their geometry, relative sea-levels, palaeoclimate, incision during sea-level low stands, carbon budget, mineral deposits, geotechnical properties and cultural heritage.
The principal working groups relate to Physical Stratigraphy (leader, Francesco Chiocci), Chemical Stratigraphy (Allan Chivas), Applied Aspects (Wyss Yim, Hong Kong, China), and Human Interactions with Shelves, e.g. migration routes (Renée Hetherington, Canada).
A key element is research training, involving presentation of short courses on both broad and specialised aspects of shelf research. Another strand is the interchange of personnel, leading to enhanced opportunities and expertise. For example, Dr. P. V. Shirodkar, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India, and Paolo Abballe, a pre-PhD student from the University of Rome, Italy, have recently undertaken training in carbon-isotope analysis, at the University of Wollongong, Australia.
The International Law of the Sea comes into effect in 2009 allowing nations to claim certain areas of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles. This has emerged as an important imperative within our project, as geoscientific understanding and documentation of shelf areas are required to establish access to these areas. Accordingly, our categorisation of shelf areas based on sediment thickness and geometry is being broadly addressed by groups of our project members in teams organised by regions. This same information is also required for ecological conservation of biota on the shelves and in the management of sustainable fisheries, where sediment substrate properties are important.
A principal achievement during 2003 has been the training of more than 100 people, mostly from developing countries, by their attendance at our short courses.
2.2. List of Meetings
The 2003 Annual meeting was organised by Adriana García and Allan Chivas, and held within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, near Sydney, Australia. This was a 5-day meeting (14-19 December 2003), attended by 45 delegates, and comprising 2 days of formal presentations, one day of short courses and two days of fieldwork.
The formal presentations included 30 oral presentations, six posters and two business meetings. Conference participants were from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Russia and Spain. A highlight of the meeting was the first public presentation of a map of the geomorphology of Australia’s shelf and offshore areas by Geoscience Australia (Andrew Heap).
There were three short courses delivered, namely Seismic Stratigraphy (Francesco Chiocci), Stable Isotopes in the Marine Environment (Allan Chivas), and Geochronology of Quaternary Sediments (Bert Roberts, David Price, Simon Clarke, Allan Chivas).
The field trips considered modern shoreline deposits, just south of Wollongong (led by Adam Switzer and Brian Jones), and the remarkable Permian cold shallow-water shelf facies of the Sydney Basin exposed in coastal cliff sections between Wollongong and Durras (150 km to the south) and led by Brian Jones. At Pebbly Beach, it was hard to drag the overseas participants away from the free-ranging almost tame kangaroos and colourful parrots.
The main outcome of the business meetings related to the production of a multi-authored book on Continental Shelves to be published as a special publication of the Geological Society of London. Aspects of the subject-matter and authorship were discussed, with a final format to be available by mid-2004, for completion in 2005.
IGCP-464 hosted or co-hosted, two other meetings during 2003, namely:
Special Session 1: Early Humans and the Evolving Northeastern
at the Geological Association of Canada (GAC), Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC), and Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) Joint Annual Meeting held in Vancouver 25-28 May 2003.
Organizers / Organisateurs: Renée Hetherington (Geological Survey of Canada) and Vaughn Barrie (Geological Survey of Canada)
Sponsors: GAC (Marine Geosciences Division) and IGCP Project No. 464
This session focused on the paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical evolution of the northeastern Pacific margin, particularly leading into and subsequent to the Last Glacial Maximum. This late Pleistocene evolution is a record of how systems have responded to change in the past, how they may respond to anticipated future climate change, and the impacts of change on the coastal region's suitability for early human habitation. The session was timely because any removal of a moratorium on oil exploration in the Queen Charlotte Islands region of Canada’s Pacific Margin will revive interest in land-use issues including land-claims and the ecological, economic, and environmental impacts of resource exploitation. Furthermore, Canada's coastlines, her people, and infrastructure are vulnerable to the impacts of anticipated climate change. Oral and poster presentations were given.
Papers entitled "The Ice-free Corridor Revisited" (Jackson and Wilson) and "Quest for the Lost Land" (Hetherington et al.) resulting from contributions made at this special session will appear in the February 2004 issue of Geotimes.
Al-Suwaidi, M.H.*, Ward, B.C., Wilson, M.C., Enkin, R.J., Nagorsen, D.W. and Wigen, R.J. Port Eliza Cave: The sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeontology of cave deposits and their implications for a human coastal migration route
Fladmark, K.R. KEYNOTE SPEAKER None if by Land, Two if by Sea: Assessing the relative feasibility of Late Pleistocerne coastal vs. interior migration routes for early native Americans moving south of Beringia
Hetherington, R.* and Barrie, J.V. Variations in timing and extent of Late Quaternary sea-level change and glacially-induced crustal displacement along the Pacific margin of Canada: Potential role of tectonics at the plate boundary
Hetherington, R.*, Barrie, J.V., Reid, R.G.B. and MacLeod, R. The environment of late Pleistocene - early Holocene Queen Charlotte Islands archipelago, Western Canada and implications for early humans
Hetherington, R.*, Barrie, J.V., Reid, R.G.B., MacLeod, R. and Kung, R. Lost Landscapes: A paleogeographic reconstruction of the Queen Charlotte Islands archipelago, western Canada 8.7 to 14.2 ka BP
Jackson, L.E. The timing of ice-free corridors through the Cordillera and adjacent interior plains--open and shut cases
Ward, B.*, Wilson, M., Nagorsen, D., Wigen, B. and Al-Suwaidi, M. Port Eliza cave: North American west coast interstadial environment and implications for human migrations
Wilson, M.C.*, Hebda, R.J. and Keddie, G. Early postglacial fossil bison from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and Orcas Island, Washington: morphology, taxonomy and paleoecological setting
The meeting was superbly organised by Szymon Uscinowicz, Joanna Zachowicz and Regina Kramarska and convened on the Hel peninsula at Jastania. A delightful one-day excursion provided a wealth of information on Puck Lagoon and surrounds. The meeting was largely supported by the Polish Geological Institute, with a useful grant to support the travel of some scientists from developing countries being provided by INQUA.
The edited refereed proceedings of this conference are in press as Polish Geological Institute, Special Papers volume 11, edited by S. Uscinowicz, J. Zachowicz and R. Kramarska, and contain 11 papers as follows:
Eric Fouache, Alexei Porotov, Christel Muller, Youri Gorlov The Role of Neo-tectonics in the variation of the relative mean sea level throughout the last 6000 years on the Taman peninsula (Black Sea, Azov Sea, Russia)
Joao. M.A. Dias, R. Gonzalez, & Ó. Ferreira Natural versus anthropic causes in variations of sand export from river basins: an example from the Guadiana River mouth (Southwestern Iberia)
Reinhard Lampe, Wolfgang Janke The Holocene sea-level rise in the southern Baltic as reflected in coastal peat sequences
Gösta Hoffmann Postglacial to Holocene sedimentation history and palaeogeographical development of a barrier spit (Pudagla lowland, Usedom Island, SW Baltic coast)
Albertas Bitinas, Aldona Damuyte, The Litorina Sea at the Lithuanian maritime region
Roberto A. Violante and José Luis Cavallotto Evolution of the semi-enclosed basins and surrounding coastal plains adjacent to the Pampean region, Argentina
Mikhail A. Spiridonov, Vladimir A. Zhamoida The natural and anthropogenic features of the coastal zone of the eastern Gulf Of Finland.
Iwona Pomian Changes to the coastline in the neighbourhood of the Medieval port in Puck in the light of the research done so far by the Central Maritime Museum in Gdansk
Danuta J. Michczyńska, Adam Michczyński, Anna Pazdur, Karol Rotnicki Statistical analysis of radiocarbon dates as tool for reconstruction of environmental changes
Leonard Gajewski, Łukasz Gajewski , Stanislaw Rudowski, Aleksandra Stachowiak The relief of the offshore bottom at Karwia - Chałupy. Polish Baltic coast
Tycjan Wodzinowski The role of the day by day beach monitoring in shore transformation
Amos C.L., Li M.Z., Chiocci F.L., La Monica G.B., Cappucci S., King E.H., Corbani F. (2003). Origin of shore-normal channels from the shoreface of Sable Island, Canada. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, C31-15.
Canals, M., Calafat, A., Camerlenghi, A., De Batist, M., Urgeles, R., Farrán, M., Geletti, R., Versteeg, W., Amblás, D., Rebesco, M., Casamor, J.L., Sánchez, A., Willmott, V., Lastras, G. And Imbo, Y. (2003). Uncovering the footprint of former ice streams off Antarctica; EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, 84 (11): 97-103.
Casanova, M.T., García, A. And Feist, M. (2003). The ecology and conservation of Lychnothamnus barbatus (Meyen) Leonhardi. Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica 20: 118-128.
Chiocci F.L. and La Monica G.B. (2003) The use of relict sand lying on the continental shelf for unprotected beach nourishment. Soft Shore Protection and Environmental Innovation in Coastal Engineering edited by C. Goudas, G. Katsiaris, V. May, T. Karambas eds. Coastal Systems and Continental Margins n.7, Kluwer.
Chiocci F.L., Bosman A., Romagnoli C., Tommasi. De Alteriis G. (2003) The December 2002 Sciara del Fuoco (Stromboli island) submarine landslide: a first characterization, XXVIII Gen. Ass. European Geophysical Society, Nice.
Collina-Girard, J (2003).-La géologie du Detroit de Gibraltar et le mythe De l'Atlantide. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise de Sciences Naturelles. Lausanne, (Switzerland).
Edgar, N.T., Cecil, C.B., Mattick, R.E., Chivas, A.R., De Deckker, P., Djajadihardja, Y.S., (2003). A modern analogue for tectonic, eustatic, and climatic processes in cratonic basins: Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia. SEPM Special Publication 77, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), p.193-205.
Espinosa, M.A., De Francesco, C.G. and Isla, F., (2003). Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Holocene coastal deposits from the Southeastern Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Journal of Paleolimnology, 29: 49-60.
Fedje, D.W., (2003). Ancient landscapes and archaeology in Haida Gwaii and Hecate Strait.In: R.L. Carlson ed. Archaeology of coastal British Columbia: essays in honour of professor Philip M. Hobler. Simon Fraser University Press.
Fernández-Salas L.M., Lobo F.J., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Somoza L., Rodero J., Díaz del Río, V. and Maldonado, A., (2003). High-resolution architecture of late Holocene highstand prodeltaic deposits froma southern Spain: the imprint of high-frequency climatic and relative sea-level changes. Continental Shelf Research, 23: 1037-1054.
García, A. (2003). Gyrogonite and oospore morphology of Lychnothamnus barbatus (Meyen) Leonh. (Charales) from Australia: SEM data and comparison with the European populations. Acta Micropalaeontologica Sinica 20: 111-117.
Hetherington, R. and Reid, R.G.B., (2003). Malacological insights into the marine ecology and changing climate of the late Pleistocene - early Holocene northeastern Pacific. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 626-661.
Hetherington, R., Barrie, J.V., Reid, R.G.B., Macleod, R., Smith, D.J., James, T.S., and Kung, R. (2003). Late Pleistocene coastal paleogeography of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada, and its implications for terrestrial biogeography and early postglacial human occupation. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 40: 1755-1766.
Lacourse, T, R.W. Mathewes and D.W. Fedje. (2003). Paleoecology of late-glacial terrestrial deposits with in situ conifers from the submerged continental shelf of western Canada. Quaternary Research 60: 180-188.
Lanzo G., A.Pagliaroli, P.Tommasi, F.L.Chiocci (2003). Small-strain cyclic behaviour of a very soft offshore clay in simple shear. International Workshop of Soft Soils-Theory and Practice, Vermeer, Schweiger and Cundy (Eds.).
Li Xuejie, Tang Rongge, Chen Fang, 2003. Diatom Distribution and the Environmental Changes from Late Quaternary in Daya Bay, Guangdong (in English). Journal of Natural Science Nanjing Normal University, 5(1): 90~94.
Li Xuejie, Jiang Maosheng, 2003. Low carbonate event in northern South China Sea during the early Holocene and their paleoclimatic significance (in Chinese with English abstract). Journal of Palaeogeography, 5(3): 355~364.
Li Xuejie, 2003. Distribution of heavy metals in substrate of the Daya Bay, Guangdong, and assessment of the quality of the seafloor environment (in Chinese with English abstract). Geology in China, 30(4): 429~435.
Li Xuejie, Chen Fang and Wang Qun. 2003. Sedimentary environmental changes from late Pleistocene in Daya Bay, Northern South China Sea. International Geological Correlation Programm 464 "Continental Shelves during the Last Glacial Cycle" Annual Conference Abstracts: p.44.
Lobo, F.J., Sánchez, R., Dias, J.M.A., González, R., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Fernández-Salas, L.M., Díaz del Río, V. Y Mendes, I.. 2003. Holocene highstand deposition on the Gulf of Cadiz shelf and its relationship with circulation patterns. In: (Eds. Vilas, F, Rubio, B., Diez, J.B.,Frances, G., Bernabeu, M.A., Fernández, E., Rey, D. Y Rosón, G.) Special Volume on the 4th Symposium on the Atlantic Iberian Continental Margin, Thalassas, 19 (2a), 65-66. ISSN: 0212-5919.
Lobo, F.J., González, R., Dias, J.M.A., Hernández-Molina, F.J., Fernández-Salas, L.M., Díaz del Río, V. Y Somoza, L. (2003). Onshore-offshore comparison of late Holocene highstand deposits in theGulf of Cadiz margin (SW Iberian Peninsula): a record of high-frequency environmental fluctuations. International Geological Correlation Program Project nº 437: Coastal Environmental Change During Sea Level Highstands: A Global Synthesis with Implications for Management of Future Coastal Change, 5th Annual Meeting, Otranto/Taranto (Italia), 22-28 September 2003.
Mahiques, M. M., Silveira, I. C. A., Sousa, S. H. M., Rodrigues, M. (2002). Post-LGM Sedimentation on the outer shelf / upper slope in the northernmost part of the São Paulo Bight, South-Eastern Brazil. Marine Geology, 181:387—400.
Pienitz, R., D. Fedje and M. Poulin (2003). Marine and non-marine diatoms from the Haida Gwaii archipelago and surrounding coasts, Northeast Pacific, Canada. J.Cramer press. Stuttgart. 146pp.
Polyak, L., Lubinski, D.J., & Stanovoy, V., (2003). Stable isotopes in benthic foraminiferal calcite from a river-influenced Arctic marine environment, Kara and Pechora Seas. Paleoceanography 18, 3-1 to 3-17.
Southon, J. R. And D. W. Fedje, (2003). A post-glacial record of 14C reservoir ages for the British Columbia coast. Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 27: 95-111.
Spalletti, L. A. And Isla, F.,
2003). Características y evolución
del delta del Rio Colorado ("Colú-Leuvú"), provincia de Buenos
Aires, República Argentina.
Asociación Argentina de Sedimentología,
Asociación Argentina de Sedimentología,10 (1): 23-37.
Torra, R. (2003) Geología del subsuelo del Área Metropolitana del Gran Resistencia, Provincia del Chaco, Nordeste de Argentina. Revista Ciência e Natura. 25: 51-70.
Uscinowicz Sz., Miotk-Szpiganowicz G., (2003). Holocene shoreline migration in the Puck Lagoon (Southern Baltic Sea) based on the Rzucewo Headland case study. Landform Analysis. 4: 81-95.
Uscinowicz Sz., - Relative Sea level changes, Glacio isostatic rebound and shoreline displacement in the Southern Baltic. Polish Geological Institute Special Papers, 10:1-79.
Willmott, V., Canals, M. and Casamor, J.L., (2003). Retreat history of the Gerlache-Boyd ice stream, northern Antarctic Peninsula: An ultra-high resolution acoustic study of the deglacial and post-glacial sediment drape; In Antarctic Peninsula Climate Variability: A Historical and Paleoenvironmental Perspective (E. Domack, A. Leventer, M. Kirby, P. Convey, A. Burnett and R. Bindschadler, eds.); Antarctic Research Series, American Geophysical Union.
Zeeberg, J.J., Forman, S.L. & Polyak, L., (2003). Glacier extent in a Novaya Zemlya fjord during the 'Little Ice Age' inferred from glaciomarine sediment records. Polar Research, 22, 385-394.
2004, and in press:
A special issue of Quaternary International (Vol 117 of 2004) with 17 papers from the 5th International Conference on the Cenozoic Evolution of the Asia-Pacific Environment. (eds N. Rutter, N. Jablonski, D. Ferguson and W. Yim) has just appeared in print. This volume is the outcome of an IGCP-464-sponsored conference in Hong Kong in November 2001.
Cavallotto, J.L., Violante, R.A. and Parker, G., (2004). Sea-Level Fluctuations during the last 8600 yr in the de la Plata river (Argentina). Quaternary International, 114: 155-165.
Fedje, D.W., Q. Mackie; E.J. Dixon and T.H. Heaton (in press). Late Wisconsin environments and archaeological visibility on the northern Northwest Coast. In: Entering America: Northeast Asia and Beringia before the last glacial maximum (D.B. Madsen ed.). University of Utah Press.
Fukumoto, M.M., Mahiques, M.M. and Tessler, M.G. Reconstruction of the Late Holocene history of Santos Bay (Southeastern Brazil) based on organic matter characteristics. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue 39. (in press).
García, A. and Chivas, A.R. (2004). The euryhaline genus Lamprothamnium (Charales, Charophyta) from Australia: statistical analyses and application to paleoenvironmental reconstruction. Journal of Paleolimnology (March 2004).
Hetherington, R., Barrie, J.V., Reid, R.G.B., Macleod, R., and Smith, D.J. 2004. Paleogeography, glacially-induced crustal displacement, and Late Quaternary coastlines on the continental shelf of British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 23: 295-318.
Hetherington, R., Barrie, J.V., Macleod, R., and Wilson, M. 2004. Quest for the Lost Land. Geotimes, February: 21-24.
Hetherington, R. and Barrie, J.V. Interaction between local tectonics and glacial unloading on the Pacific margin of Canada. Quaternary International IGCP 437 special journal publication. Edited by U. Radtke, in press.
Iriondo, M., (2004). The littoral complex at the Paraná mouth. Quaternary International, 114: 143-154
Lin, I., Wang, C.H. and Lin, S.W., (accepted). Seasonal variations of oxygen isotopic compositions in the Pingtung coastal waters, Taiwan. Western Pacific Earth Sciences.
Violante, R.A. and Parker, G., (2004). The post-Last Glacial Maximum transgression in the de la Plata river and adjacent inner continental shelf, Argentina. Quaternary International, 114: 167-181
Argentina*, Australia*, Belgium, Brazil*, Bulgaria*, Canada*, Chile, China*, Chinese Taiwan*, Denmark*, Egypt, Estonia*, Finland*, France*, Germany*, India*, Indonesia*, Israel*, Italy*, Japan*, Lithuania*, Korea*, Mozambique*, Netherlands, New Zealand*, Nigeria*, Norway, Poland*, Portugal*, Russia*, South Africa*, Spain*, Sweden*, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom*, USA*.
Six new member countries joined in 2003, and the total number of scientists reached 335 drawn from 37 countries.
The project is a member of the CHANGES program which is a super-IGCP collaboration of Quaternary activities also involving sister projects on the carbon cycle, karst, and drylands. Our task in this is to provide information relating to the carbon budget (storage and loss during episodes of subaerial exposure of the continental shelves).
This is recognised by the IGCP-464 dedicated topical symposium (T-05.03) nested with the CHANGES theme (T05) at the forthcoming IGC (Florence, August, 2004).
One of IGCP-464’s strategies is the emphasis on research co-operation and research training (i.e. capacity-building). We wish our project to achieve outcomes beyond those that are a sum of several countries’ own independent research programs.
There are several ways that our strategy
is expressed; as short courses given, where possible, to participants in
developing countries, and as fostered research co-operation. The test of
our success, is the documentation of those activities or projects that would
not have developed without the IGCP-464 umbrella.
The following are examples of activities during 2003:
A. Offering a short-course on marine isotope geochemistry (by A. Chivas) at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India (24-25 January, 2003), attended by 80 participants. There are plans to repeat and lengthen this course and re-present it in June 2004.
B. The short courses presented at the 2003 Annual meeting in Wollongong were well attended by participants from the developing world (China, India, Brazil, Korea, Poland) and post-graduate students from Spain, Italy and Australia.
C. A joint research agreement and funding between teams from France and China to work on the Northern South China Sea shelf, over several years.
D. Enthusiastic teams involving several institutions from Argentina and Brazil have commenced joint work on the east-coast South American shelves. During 2003, major supplementary funds were sought for this activity from national granting agencies.
E. The offering of equipment and facilities at host institutions in France, Australia, Italy, UK and Hong Kong to project participants to enable study to occur on the continental shelves of other countries. Under this plan, we can report:
(i) Three projects are underway, using Australian resources, for projects involving Indian scientists, in both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
(ii) Dr Prabhaker Shirodkar (Goa, India) spent 2 months in Australia, refining techniques for isotopic analysis.
iii) External funding sought under the IGCP-project banner, permitted Paolo Abballe, pre-PhD student, University of Rome, to undertake a one-year research program, from October 2003, in Australia.
iv) Two Italian PhD students (Laura Cassatta and Chiara Altobelli) are spending one year and five months, respectively, in exchange, working on carbonate platforms, at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.
F. Most of the members within the project, and also those who attend our annual meetings, are from developing countries. Our funds are used almost exclusively to support their participation in such meetings.
To offer short courses to developing countries on several topics, including seismic stratigraphy, geochemistry, geotechnics and palaeoceanography. In 2003 we broadcast generalised requests for expressions of interest for such plans, and received positive replies from Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Poland and Vietnam.
We are now completing a schedule for these activities, including a request to UNESCO and /or the IGCP Secretariat for further funds to permit these short-courses to be offered. There is a concrete schedule for courses in India in mid 2004.
3.2 Future meetings
4. Project funding requested
We would like to request funding at or near the upper end of the range, to financially support attendance at two meetings in 2004.
The back-to-back, IGC (Florence) and Project annual meeting (Rome; with ship-based field collection), will be expensive with respect to travel, and on-site accommodation, for participants from developing countries. We will need support for delegates coming from Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia and Russia. As usual, we will allocate all our funding to the support of participants from developing countries.
On another front, we have written separately to Dr Eder, requesting that consideration be given to additional funding (possible from UNESCO, more broadly), to allow our offering short courses in developed countries.
5. Project extension: N/A.
To contact IGCP464
Dip. Scienze della Terra, Univ. "La Sapienza", P. Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Roma, Italy