Geodynamics and Geological Processes
The understanding of the dynamical processes of the Earth, in addition to the capability of providing essential elements to outline its evolutionary history, allows to draw a reference framework for the evaluation and mitigation of geological risks of seismic, volcanic, geomorphological and mineralogical origin, to understand the deep pulse of the planet and its ability to absorb the fast environmental changes introduced by humankind, to interpret the characteristics of tectonic and geomorphological features of the Earth’s surface, to define sedimentary and geochemical cycles, and to identify georesources.
A correct environmental research or prevention activity, or an effective recovery of terrestrial ecosystems or prediction of climatic evolution, cannot exist without a deep knowledge of the dynamics of our planet, and how exchange mechanisms act among the various functional physical-chemical "reservoirs" of the Earth.
IGG has outstanding scientific expertise in Geodynamics, together with significant interdisciplinary skills. The Institute combines expertise in structural geology, palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, geomorphology, mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry and geophysics. Such a vast span of disciplinary domains allows for a complete characterization of the deeper geological processes which take place in Earth's mantle and drive the geodynamic evolution, as well as their effects on the its outermost layer, namely the lithosphere, where the processes developed on its interface with the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere constrain the present and future of humankind. Tools and products of IGG cover the entire spectrum of these topics, including geological mapping, stratigraphic reconstruction, analogue structural modelling, analysis and geochemical modelling.
The research activities carried out will be of various kinds and typically interdisciplinary. They will comprise the definition of processes such as the origin of magmas and their migration styles through the mantle sectors, the definition of the mechanisms of crustal differentiation, ascent and emplacement of magmas, the relations between magmatism and tectonic structures in different geodynamic settings (intra-continental, convergent, oceanic), the pre-eruptive mechanisms and eruptive dynamics, the links between magmatism and geological resources, the geomorphological evolution linked to crustal dynamics, the evolution of the sedimetary and tectonic-sedimentary stratigraphic sequences involved in orogenic systems, the paleo-environmental reconstruction of their depositional and diagenetic environments, the structural setting of thrust and fold tectonic systems, the evolution of the tectonic-metamorphic units at low-medium metamorphic grade, the study of fossil hydrothermal systems.
Many of the activities of this research area are an integral part of the Horizon 2020 - European Plate Observing System (EPOS) Infrastructure.
Coordination: Alberto Zanetti, (alberto.zanetti(at)igg.cnr(dot)it)