+++ ICDP: Call for Proposals - Next Chance January 15, 2018 +++ Highlights and Updates Moved to the new ICDP Web Site +++

Goals of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program

The general requirements for the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program as agreed upon at the Potsdam Conference are that :

  • It addresses fundamental scientific problems of global importance as an element of geological and geophysical research programs.
  • It seeks geological sites from around the world and involves the international community of scientists to optimize the results from drilling.
  • It involves both shallow and deep drilling to address specific questions.
  • It is proposal-driven, peer reviewed and operated on the basis that the scientific findings of the program should have broad impact on on-going research throughout the world.
  • It is organized in such a way that it will be possible from both a managerial and technical perspective to meet the varied needs of the Earth Science Community.
  • It is a continuing program with an operational framework which fosters international collaboration and evolving technical capability.

The principal advantages of such an international program of appropriate scale and viability are:

  • Focusing of scientific effort on drilling sites of global significance (World Geological Sites). 
  • Affordability and cost-effectiveness through sharing. 
  • Attraction of high quality researchers to topics of high national and international priority.
  • Intellectual benefits to all participants arising from international cooperation.

These general considerations led to the following mission of the ICDP:

"Through the unique capacities of scientific drilling to provide exact, fundamental and globally significant knowledge of the composition, structure and processes of the Earth's crust”.

with particular focus on research themes such as:

  • The physical and chemical processes responsible for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and optimal methods for mitigating their effects.
  • The manner in which Earth's climate has changed in the recent past and the reasons for such changes.
  • The effects of major impacts on climate and mass extinctions. 
  • The nature of the deep biosphere and its relation to geologic processes such as hydrocarbon maturation, ore deposition and evolution of life on Earth. 
  • How to safely dispose radioactive and other toxic waste materials.
  • How sedimentary basins and hydrocarbon resources originate and evolve. 
  • How ore deposits are formed in diverse geologic settings. 
  • The fundamental physics of plate tectonics and heat, mass and fluid transfer through Earth's crust. 
  • How to better interpret geophysical data used to determine the structure and properties of Earth's crust.