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IGCP 648

IGCP648 Logo The IGCP 648: Supercontinent Cycles & Global Geodynamics project brings together a diverse range of geoscience expertise to harness recent breakthroughs in order to explore the occurrence and evolution history of supercontinents through time along with the underlying geodynamic processes. The work is supported by:


Deep mantle unveils a two-faced Earth

Research led by scientists in the Earth Dynamics Research Group, and published in Nature Geoscience, suggests that the Earth has two chemically distinct hemispheric ‘faces’ or domains.

Image credit: modifed from animation by Sanne Cottaar.

Credit: National Geographic

Early whole mantle remixing suggests a start of global plate tectonics before three billion years ago

New work, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that after the initial chemical stratification and formation of a hard shell in the first billion years of our planet’s history, there was a major chemical ‘stir-up’ some 3.2 billion years ago.

Image credit: National Geographic

Fluid-fluxed melting

New article in Nature Geoscience!

A recently published Nature Geoscience article outlines the critical importance of water in the melting that occurs in subduction zones. This work, lead by Prof. Bill Collins, also discusses how this fluid-fluxed melting influences the mineralogical and geochemical signatures of the continental crust.

Prof. Z.X. Li

Prof. Zheng-Xiang Li recognised in 2019 Class of AGU Fellows

Each year AGU elects Fellows whose visionary leadership and scientific excellence have fundamentally advanced research in their respective fields. Professor Zheng-Xiang Li has been named in the list of 62 new AGU Fellows to be honored at the AGU Fall Meeting 2019 in San Francisco, California.

Congratulations Prof. Li!

IGCP 648 2019 Field Symposium

IGCP 648 2019 Field Symposium – A Geologic Transect of Madagascar

The IGCP 648 2019 Field Symposium on the Precambrian evolution of Madagascar was well attended, with 31 geoscientists representing 11 countries. Read an entertaining account of the symposium written by Prof. Damian Nance.

Prof Müller

Prof. Dietmar Müller awarded the Jaeger Medal

The Australian Academy of Science recently acknowledged the outstanding contributions of 20 of Australia’s leading scientists and future superstars. Prof. Müller was awarded the Jaeger Medal for lifelong achievement, which recognises research on the Earth or its oceans carried out in Australia or with a connection to Australian Earth science.


Decoding the Earth’s rhythms

A new IGCP 648 publication in Precambrian Research highlights how the supercontinents appear to have assembled and broken up through alternating processes of ‘introversion’ and ‘extroversion’. The process spans twice the period of the supercontinent cycle and involves either the survival or regeneration of superoceans and the subduction girdle.

Three Gorges Dam

IGCP 648 2018 Field Symposium – From Rodinia to Pangea: Geodynamics, Life and Climate

The IGCP 648 annual field symposium was held in the Three Gorges and Shennongjia regions in South China between 1 – 9 Nov., 2018. A wonderful recount of the symposium has been written by one of the student attendees, Ms Georgina Virgo.

AGCC 2018

Australian Geoscience Council Convention, 14-18 Oct., 2018

The Earth Dynamics Research Group (and IGCP 648) had a strong showing at the inaugural Australian Geoscience Council Convention (AGCC 2018) held in Adelaide, South Australia.

Final Nuna assembly

1.6 Ga crustal thickening along the final Nuna suture

Newly published results in GEOLOGY outline the evidence for the collision of proto-Australia and Laurentia during the final assembly of supercontinent Nuna.


Prof. Paul Hoffman

CCFS Short Course on Snowball Earth by Professor Paul Hoffman

A CCFS-sponsored short course on the global climatic phenomenon known as Snowball Earth was held at Curtin University on 15 July, 2016.The seminars were recorded and are available to view online.



Important upcoming events

  • IGCP 648 Virtual Seminar Series

    Our first virtual seminar series has come to a close. After 15 weeks of seminars we will take a short break, but rest assured that we will be back shortly with a new round of speakers. 
    Stay tuned for future seminar series announcements.

    A great many thanks to Dr Sheree Armistead for her extraordinary efforts in organising this and making it a great success!

    View more information about the seminar series and watch some of the recorded previous seminars.

    Please use the online form to sign up and participate in our future seminar series.

Recent Research Highlights

Metamorphism and the evolution of plate tectonics

Holder, R.M., Viete, D.R., Brown, M., Johnson, T.E., 2019. Metamorphism and the evolution of plate tectonics. Nature, 572, 378-381. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1462-2

Select media:, HowStuffWorks, ScienceBlog


Surface erosion events controlled the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth

Sobolev, S.V., Brown, M., 2019. Surface erosion events controlled the evolution of plate tectonics on Earth. Nature, 570, 52-57. doi:10.1038/s41586-019-1258-4

Select media:, ScienceNews, Nature Podcast


Global geochemical fingerprinting of plume intensity suggests coupling with the supercontinent cycle

Gamal El Dien, H., Doucet. L.S., Li, Z.X., Cox, G.M., Mitchell, R.N., 2019. Global geochemical fingerprinting of plume intensity suggests coupling with the supercontinent cycle. Nature Communications, 10, 5270. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13300-4



Decoding the Earth’s rhythms

Li, Z.X., Mitchell, R.N., Spencer, C.J., Ernst, R., Pisarevsky, S., Kirscher, U., Murphy, J.B., 2019. Decoding Earth’s rhythms: modulation of supercontinent cycles by longer superocean episodes. Precambrian Research, 323, 1-5. doi:10.1016/j.precamres.2019.01.009

Select, Live Science, IFLScience

Click below to hear from the project secretary about some interesting recent publications/outcomes from the IGCP Project 648 community.

Help Build the Geological Database

Please click below to view a short presentation on the data compilation initiative of IGCP Project 648.

A new Tectonophysics special issue celebrating the career of Cees van Staal is now online. The issue discusses the development of accretionary orogens and was edited by J. Brendan Murphy, Shoufa Lin, and Alexandre Zagorevski.

Articles available from:

The 1st IGCP 648-sponsored volume on Supercontinent Cycles Through Earth History is now available. Edited by Z.X. Li, D.A.D. Evans, and J.B. Murphy.

Articles available from:
The Geological Society, London

See the inside cover and table of contents.

Tectonophysics Special Issue 681 Out Now!

A special, IGCP 648 related, issue of Tectonophysics celebrating the career of Cecilio Quesada was recently published. It was edited by Guest Editors J. Brendan Murphy, R. Damian Nance, and Stephen T. Johnston.

Articles available from:

See the inside cover and the table of contents.