The policies of the ICDP and the structure of the program are laid down in the:
Prospectus for the ICDP
The Mission and the objectives of the ICDP are defined as follows:
"Great advances have been made in recent years in the conceptual understanding of the evolution of the Earth's continental crust; and modern techniques have also allowed great advances in geophysical and geological mapping of large areas. As a result it has become clear over the last decade that scientific drilling is a critical tool in our understanding of Earth processes and structure. Drilling can provide unique opportunities for the direct study of Earth processes and it also critically tests geological models developed on the basis of surface observations and remote sensing. Results obtained from drilling projects at critical sites can be applied to other areas worldwide. It is, therefore, believed that international co-operation in continental scientific drilling is an essential component for a responsible management strategy for the Earth's natural resources and environment.
These general considerations lead 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.
The specific objectives of the ICDP in carrying out its mission are:
- to obtain secure funding for an effective planning, implementation and execution of a viable strategic program to meet scientific objectives of socio-economic significance.
- to identify sites for international cooperation in scientific drilling, and thus to provide cost effective means of answering key scientific questions in the ICDP's priority fields.
- to ensure that appropriate pre-site surveys are carried out.
- to provide a core of technical support for drilling projects to facilitate their efficient planning and operation.
- to ensure appropriate monitoring of the program and accountability to sponsors in terms of scientific effectiveness and financial efficiency.
- to ensure effective publication and dissemination of the results.
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."
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