1. History, Process andGeodynamics of Plateau Upliftand Resources
Uplift of Tibetan Plateau (TP) is one of the most important geological events in Earth’s history, having been the focus of research in Earth System Science for decades. Yunnan Plateau (YP, including Myanmar, Laosand neighboring regions) is the southeastern extension of TP (hereafter referred to SETP), the geological history of which resembles to TP but with its own characteristics.
The Center identifies the SETP as the target study area, carrying out research on tectonics, basin evolution, igneous activities and associated mineral resources, aiming to better understand the history, process and geodynamics of plateau uplift.
2. Geomorphic Evolution, Surface Processes and Environmental Changes
The geological evolution of SETP not only caused plateau uplift, but also shapedregional landscape, induced drainagere-organization and Asian monsoon evolution, which eventuallyled to the establishment of regional configuration of physical environments, providing homes for diversified lives.
This research direction sets up a perfect example for studying the interactions between lithosphere and Earth’s surface, with its final goal to understand the evolutionary history, processes and geodynamics of tectonic-geomorphology and paleoenvironmental changes.
3. Co-evolution of Plateau Biodiversity and Earth Environments
The lengthy geological history has shaped the Yunnan Plateau as it is today. Concomitantly the biological world has experienced arduous adventure and evolution. How has life on Earth evolved? How has human being originated? What role the Earth’s environments have played during the evolution of life? How has biological process taken part in geological process?
The Center aims to carry out research to better understand the geological environments of critical geological times when lives went through evolution and/or extinction.
4. Geological Evolution of Plateau Lakes and Global Changes
Yunnan Plateau cradles 6 drainages and 9 lakes, which are the targets of environmental protection. Understanding of their geological evolution provides the basis for making protection strategy.
The Center will select a typical drainage/lake system and construct a multidisciplinary observatory, the objective of which is to observe the Earth’s surface components (and their interactions) including rocks, soil, hydrogeology, atmosphere, biology and lake dynamics. The ultimate goal is to understand the evolutionary history, processes, future changes and mechanism of drainages and lacustrine system.