Earth Sciences

Statement

Projects are to focus on the interacting earth system processes and their feedback mechanisms that are critical to the sustainability of our planet through (a) exploration and sustainable exploitation of natural resources; (b) quantifying impacts of anthropogenic forcing on climate change and its environmental, social and economic impacts; (c) risk assessment from natural hazards like earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, avalanches, floods etc.and (d) development ofmodels of interactions between lithosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere-cryosphere and biosphere.

Priority Areas

  • Assessment of groundwater reserves, quality assessment and projections for future leading to conservation and longevity of quality and quantity.
  • Climate change through time and impacts on cultural and economic development – focus on rivers (migration of civilizations, influence of river systems, impacts on environment and projections to future); evolve strategies for management of the river basins.
  • Accounting for the Himalayan glaciers and their vulnerability; avalanche hazard zonation; retreat of glaciers and long-term impact on river water budgets, potential remedial measures.
  • Landslide risk zonation, construction and development- roadmaps to development of vulnerable regions.
  • Protection of coastal zones- mapping the limits of coastal inundation from sea surges (cyclones and tsunamis) considering sea level changes in the past and projections to future based on climate change models, surface water-aquifer interactions, submarine groundwater discharge, and salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers in response to sea level dynamics.
  • Environmental impacts of resource exploitation (mining, quarrying, land reclamation, soil degradation etc), remedial measures.
  • Earthquake and tsunami hazards-mapping the vulnerability zones and impact assessment, increasing preparedness through outreach programs and policy options.
  • Geology and our cultural evolution-river systems and ancient civilizations; development of our heritage structures, building stones, our geological heritages (potential contributions to the natural history museum in plan).
  • Interactions among surface processes, climate and tectonics with focus on human sustainability- coupled surface process-tectonic models, mechanics of erosion, fluvial terrace systems, sedimentary basins and their architecture.
  • Develop a unifying theoretical framework of Critical Zone evolution that integrates physical, chemical and biological processes. Develop coupled system models to explore how CZ services respond anthropogenic, climatic and tectonic forcings and to develop extensive integrated datasets to document a wide range of CZ settings, including geology and climate.

© STARS, MHRD, Government of India