IGCP-649 Project newly approved

In 2015 CARMA was awarded a new IGCP (International Geosciences Program) grant sponsored by UNESCO and IUGS, in support of our current work on ultrahigh pressure and highly reduced minerals in ophiolitic peridotites and chromitites. The project, entitled “Diamonds and Recycled Mantle”, will undertake systematic sampling of peridotites-chromitites in different ophiolites around the world with diverse ranges of ages and geochemical affinities to document the extent of diamond occurrence in the mantle. Through this project and its activities, the CARMA scientists will organize thematic meetings and training workshops for Chinese and international students and early-career researchers as venues for knowledge transfer and international collaboration.

The creation of this new IGCP project emphasizes the global importance of our work, and provides support for a series of international workshops that will bring together students, young professional and established researchers to discuss and to evaluate some of the most significant scientific problems and questions pertaining to the mantle dynamics and composition. Current plans call for the first Workshop to be held in northwest China to examine the ophiolites of the Qilian orogen, and the second Workshop is tentatively planned for the world-famous Cretaceous Troodos ophiolite in Cyprus. Our IGCP project will continue to bring international recognition and visibility to CARMA and its affiliated laboratories, and will make an excellent forum for stimulating discussions, fascinating discoveries, and unparalleled productivity for the next five years.

We are very happy to report that our 5-year IGCP proposal received the highest ranking (5 of 5) for its scientific significance and capacity. The evaluation statement (provided below) by the IGCP Science Panel captures the essence and the anticipated impact of our project:

This proposal brings together a group of internationally renowned researchers for a project that will investigate ophiolite rocks as a window on mantle and plate tectonic processes at subduction zones. The project is at the cutting edge of research and builds upon the recent discovery of ultrahigh pressure minerals entrained in mantle rocks (e.g.diamond, garnet, kyanite) that from isotopic studies and other evidence possibly represent crustal material recycled through subduction zones. This is a new territory for researchers and will inevitably result in new ideas about how the plate tectonic systemworks and the timeframes over which subduction occurs”.

We look forward to the participation of numerous national and international earth scientists in various activities of this IGCP project, and to a very successful 5-year term with the generous support of the CARMA members, the Institute, and the Geological Survey.