ICDP’s strategy is to provide a working infrastructure that facilitates outstanding scientific endeavour. Understanding the workings of planet Earth is our aim, utilising archives from the geological past, in close collaboration with partner organizations. Dovetailing with the needs of key stakeholders is fundamentally important, namely gaining insights into climate change, natural hazards, and natural resources, but our commitment to “bottom-up” discovery science remains paramount.

Science in Action

ICDP is an infrastructure for scientific drilling and not a scientific funding body. But it nevertheless lays out what it sees as key challenges for the future in the form of a Science Plan. This acts as a roadmap for the international Earth Science community, which at the same time serves as a means for aligning National funding initiatives with ICDP’s internationally based objectives.

ICDP’s last Science Plan was formulated at the 2005 Science Conference, and has the following thrusts:

  • The physical and chemical processes responsible for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and the development of optimal methods for mitigating their adverse effects.
  • The manner in which Earth's climate has changed in the recent past and the reasons for such changes.
  • 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 sedimentary basins and hydrocarbon resources originate and evolve.
  • The effects of major impacts on climate and mass extinctions.
  • The fundamental physics of plate tectonics and heat, mass and fluid transfer through Earth's crust.

Currently the new Science Plan resulting from the Conference in November 2013 is in process.