Weihe Basin Drilling Project (Phase I): Mio-Pleistocene Asian hydroclimate variability and dynamics

4pm AEDT, Tuesday 1 November 2022
Jaeger 1 Seminar Room, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University

The Weihe Basin in NW China is close to the city of the ancient capital of China, Xi’an. It contains about 7 km of sediment which has been deposited since the early Eocene. Some pilot studies have been made on the sediments and a team has been assembled to examine the full potential of their contents. These are expected to provide evidence of the effects of uplift of the Qinling Mountains and perhaps even the Tibetan Plateau, and hence the evolution of the East Asian Monsoon system, the development of the modern biogeography of eastern Asia, and life systems in the deep earth.

A team of scientists from China, Australia, USA, Switzerland and Germany form the core of the research team. The initial phase of the analysis will be based on a 3 km core. Some analyses will take place on site (about 100 km from Xi’an) and core materials will be trucked to a core store being built in the Institute of Earth Environment (IEE, Chinese Academy of Science), in the SW of the City. From there analyses will take place in the Institute and in the home countries of the participants. The first phase is funded by ICDP, the Chinese Government and (hopefully) with help from external partners.

Due to COVID the start of the drilling has been delayed, and hopefully will begin in 2023.

John Dodson has a PhD from ANU, and has held academic posts at University of Canterbury (NZ), University of NSW (Sydney) and has been Head of Department at UWA (Perth), Head of Institute of Environment (Brunel University, London), Head of Environmental Research (ANSTO), Inaugural Head of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences (Wollongong) and is currently a Professor in IEE, Xi’an. He has also served on several national and international scientific organisations.

This talk will be preceded by a short introduction from Ron Hackney, Director of the Australia/New Zealand IODP Consortium, outlining ANZIC’s strategy to incorporate membership of the International Continental Drilling Program as part of future NCRIS support for Australian access to scientific drilling infrastructure.

Visit the RSES Seminar program page for further details and the livestream link.