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Major research themes:

Tectonic history of the Asia-Pacific region

Theme 1: Tectonic history of the Asia-Pacific region

Theme leaders
Prof. Simon Wilde (Australia)
Prof. Qingren Meng (China)

Major topics include origins of the continental blocks, how and when they got to their present-day tectonic positions (particularly the formation of the Asian continent), and major events that shaped the formation of the present-day Asia-Pacific margin (birth of the series of marginal seas and oil/gas reservoirs, and formation of the various large magmatic provinces that commonly host large numbers of mineral deposits).

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Orogenic processes - how continents weld together?

Theme 2: Orogenic processes – how continents weld together?

Theme leaders
Prof. Jonathan Aitchison (Australia)
Prof. Zengqian Hou (China)

This is a process-focused research theme which studies mechanisms and kinematics of continental collisional events, including the formation of the Tibetan Plateau, mechanisms of continental collision along the Qinling-Dabie-Sulu belt, as well as the poorly known mechanism for intraplate orogenic events such as the Palaeozoic Wuyi-Yunkai and Permo-Triassic Indosinian orogenies in South China, and the Paterson-Petermann and Alice Springs orogenies in Australia.

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Global palaeogeography and geodynamics

Theme 3: Global palaeogeography and geodynamics

Theme leaders
Prof. Dietmar Müller (Australia)
Prof. Hanlin Chen (China)

This research theme focuses on the reconstruction of distribution and movements of major continents in Earth’s deep history, and develops geodynamic models to better understand earth’s inner working. The work will be part of an UNESCO-IUGS sponsored International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) project, with special focus on work in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Asia-Pacific basin history and petroleum systems

Theme 4: Asia-Pacific basin history and petroleum systems

Theme leaders
Prof. Chris Elders (Australia)
Prof. Zhijun Jin (China)

This research theme aims to achieve an holistic understanding of:

  1. how the Asia-Pacific basin system evolved since the Cretaceous during the roll-back of Asia-Pacific’s subduction system, turning the region from an Andean-type plate margin to an Asia-Pacific type one;
  2. 4D evolution of continental basins in the Asian-Pacific region, and
  3. implications to the formation of major petroleum systems in the region. Basin-specific studies will be carried out through collaboration with major petroleum companies as research partners.

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Asia-Pacific mineral systems

Theme 5: Asia-Pacific mineral systems

Theme leaders
Prof. Campbell McCuaig (Australia)
Prof. Weidong Sun (China)

The research theme will focus on understanding the temporal-spatial distribution of major mineral systems in the Asia-Pacific region, and the processes that controls such distributions. For instance, how the proposed flat-subduction and foundering of a oceanic plateau might have controlled the formation and distribution of Mesozoic Cu, Au, Fe, and REE deposits, orogenic gold systems in China and eastern Australia, mineral systems along convergent margins in the Asia-Pacific, and mineral systems during India’s collision with Asia.

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Capacity strengthening

Theme 6: Capacity strengthening

Theme leaders
Prof. Brent McInnes (Australia)
Prof. Xian-Hua Li (China)

We will collaborate in developing cutting-edge technologies for geochemical, isotopic, and palaeomagnetic analyses, for geodynamic modelling, and for information management and data-mining.

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