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Aims and Objectives

The first order issues of SourceSink are connected with general objectives such as the inter- and intra connections between tectonics, climate and sea-level fluctuations and other forcing parameters, the link and feedbacks between initiation of erosion and transfer, and comparison of the present day situation with that of the recent past. However it is the aim of SourceSink to take the investigation a step further by focusing also on quantitative aspects and by integrating source, transfer and sink in order to lead to numeric modeling and prediction. The following questions rise from the above:

  • What are erosion and denudation rates in time and space? How do they vary? What causes the variability in erosion and denudation rates regulating the production, mobility and storage of sediments from their sources to their sinks, and
  • What signals of the source and transport are archived in the sediment record – both in basins serving as temporal storage and in basins in the delta; how do we read these signals and link them to the dynamic processes that have operated in the source and reworked past storage basins?
  • What are the critical threshold conditions in the systems and how do we identify and constrain them? Can we distinguish between threshold conditions related to tectonic processes and those associated with surface-climate processes? What kind of high resolution in time is needed to solve this question and how do we achieve this?
  • What is the response of the system to mass (re)distribution and what does it mean for threshold conditions? Do they trigger the dynamic systems or rather level it?
  • How can we link the differing spatial and temporal scales of the various processes involved and is it possible to discriminate between the dominating processes?
  • What are the role of inherited structures and the memory of the lithosphere?
  • What is the role of the first-order tectonic processes such as slab break of, lithospheric strength, the thermal structure of the lithosphere etc?
  • What is the role of climate and on what time scales do they dominate the system.
  • Is climate more important in the source or in the sink? Is tectonics more important in the source or in the sink?
  • What is the delay time of tectonic processes and how do we quantify its impact?

It is our objective to address these questions and issues by:

  • providing research in integrated source-sink science through participation in an excellent research environment and a dedicated training programme.
  • bringing scientists together with proven expertise in geology, geophysics, geomorphology, hydrology and climatology together in order to develop collaborative communities for integrated source to sink studies;
  • carrying out scientific research at the forefront of sedimentary basin dynamic, directed at improving our understanding of the interplay between lithosphere to surface and source to sink relationships, in order to improve our predictive capabilities, and to develop and validate quantitative models for the stability of systems prone to major natural disasters;
  • providing hazard assessment and prevention methods taking into account short, intermediate and long term processes, including anthropogenic influences, that can be used by policy makers to mitigate natural hazards.
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