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Picturing the past to imagine our future

...why Earth science matters

Our continents provide access to a record of the Earth's history that stretches back about 4 billion years. Via targeted drilling this record allows us to investigate and understand fundamental processes, e.g. the onset of plate tectonics, the generation of the magnetic field, the formation of ore deposits, the oxygenation of our atmosphere and oceans, and many more. Understanding these processes is crucial to find answers for sustaining our environment and resources essential for modern society now and in future, to understand the full chain from hazard to risk safeguarding society from natural disasters, to limit global warming - these are fundamental challenges faced by society in the 21st century.

Challenges that affect mankind

ICDP´s 4 prime Science Themes for the next decade

Geodynamic Processes

Analyzing the processes that shaped our planet


Deciphering the full chain from hazard to risk


Researching subsurface sustainable resources

Environmental Change

Sedimentary archives telling us how Earth evolved