GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) is a community effort that studies the origin and evolution of continental margins. GeoPRISMS is a decadal program, funded by NSF, that supports interdisciplinary and shoreline crossing activities that combine marine and terrestrial approach to study the margins evolution and their dynamics.

Mission Statement: GeoPRISMS investigates the coupled geodynamics, earth surface processes, and climate interactions that build and modify continental margins over a wide range of timescales (from s to My), and across the shoreline. GeoPRISMS research has applications to margin evolution and dynamics, construction of stratigraphic architecture, accumulation of economic resources, and associated geologic hazards and environmental management.

The GeoPRISMS Science Program includes two broadly integrated initiatives linked by five overarching scientific topics and themes where transformative advances are likely to occur in the next decade, and where a concentrated scientific program is most effective:

  • Origin and evolution of the continental crust
  • Fluids, magmas and their interactions
  • Tectonic-sediment-climate interactions
  • Geochemical cycles
  • Plate boundary deformation and geodynamics

Research at the main initiatives (Rift Initiation and EvolutionSubduction Cycles and Deformation) combine large scale amphibious deployments and smaller marine and terrestrial field studies at CascadiaEastern USAlaska-AleutianEast Africa, and New Zealand. The field studies are augmented with thematic and global studies. The GeoPRISMS community effort is guided by an Office, a Steering and Oversight Committee, and an Education Advisory Committee.

The guiding principles to study these main themes are:
  1. the use of interdisciplinary communities
  2. the study of active systems
  3. the use of experiment, theory and computation
  4. crossing the shorelines, and
  5. the use of focus sites.

GeoPRISMS is the legacy of the NSF MARGINS Program. The GeoPRISMS Program is an outgrowth of approximately two years of self-assessment during the final years of MARGINS, constructive reviews by the MARGINS Decadal Review Committee (DRC) chaired by A. Watts (read the review documents), and finally substantial community input regarding future science directions during the MARGINS Successor Planning Workshop (MSPW) held in San Antonio in February 2010. This website serves as a rich resource for researchers, educators, and the general public about ongoing activities within GeoPRISMS.

Go to the GeoPRISMS Draft Science Plan and Implementation Plans page