2014 Annual Report of IGCP608 submitted to IGCP Office (UNESCO)

The second year (2014) Annual Report of IGCP608 was submitted to the IGCP Office of UNESCO middle December last year

Some items concerned with our activities in 2014 and expected 2015 are compiled and arranged from extracted main report and additional descriptions in appendices below:


ACTIVITIES IN 2014  (3. Achievements of the project this year only)

1) General scientific achievements (3.1)

              The current state-of-the-art knowledge of Cretaceous Land, Ocean, Biosphere and Ecosystems in each participating country has been gathered in addition to regular research results at seven meetings listed the next section. The Second International Symposium and Excursion overviewed such the topics as OAE, land-ocean linkage, biotic and tectonic evolution, and Asian geoparks highlighting Cretaceous. We understood the further and comprehensive studies through integrated approach are necessary for the better understandings of the Cretaceous paleoenvironments and the paleoecosystems in Asia.
              The proceedings volume of the second and first year meetings was decided to submit to Thematic Section "Land-Ocean Linkages and Biotic Evolution during the Cretaceous: Contribution from Asia and Western Pacific" of Island Arc (Wiley Online Journal). Four co-leaders and two regional leaders will act as guest editors.
              In a post-symposium field excursion, we observed the Cretaceous forearc basin siliciclastic successions exposed along the Pacific coast, alternating marine (deep to shallow) and terrestrial (fluvial) deposits and their transitions in sedimentary facies and biofacies laterally and stratigraphically, as overviewed in Field Guide published this time.
              Peter Crane (Yale Univ.), a co-worker of Masamichi Takahashi (Niigata Univ.), timely received the 30th International Prize for Biology (Japan Society of Promotion of Science) for the great contribution to plant systematics and evolutionary history, especially on the origin of angiosperm during the Cretaceous. Their Cretaceous paleobotanical studies in Japan and Mongolia were based on our Asian IGCP projects including previous IGCP507 and 434.


2) IGCP project meetings/symposia and IGCP related meetings/symposia (3.2)

(1) 2nd International Symposium of IGCP608

              The Symposium and post-symposium field trip brought together more than 92 Earth Scientists including graduate students and representatives of petroleum and resources companies, from 13 countries of the world. A total of 44 oral talks and 37 posters were presented during three days scientific sessions. Countries of 92 registrated participants and number of delegates are as follows: China: 1; India: 10; Japan: 45; Malaysia: 1; Mongolia: 6; Myanmar: 2; Pakistan: 1; Philippines: 4; Russia: 6; South Korea: 5; Canada: 1; U.K.: 1; France: 1. There are 22 women and 22 PhD/master course students. Furthermore, 20 undergraduate students of Waseda University helped the meeting as support staff members.
              An abstract volume with 81 contributions was produced in advance of the meeting:
Abstracts Volume: 2nd IGCP608 Waseda, Japan “Land-Ocean Linkages and Biotic Evolution during the Cretaceous: Contribution from Asian and Western Pacific”, September 4-10, 2014, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, 206p.
              In the sessions on 4 Sept. titled “OAE phenomena contributed from Asian and Western Pacific Records”, Japanese and Philippines scientists presented the recent research results on Hokkaido in Japan, France, Northwest Coast of America, Persian Gulf and New Zealand. All participants including the presenters dedicated the memorial thought to the late Professor Hiromichi Hirano (IGCP434 leader, died in May, 2014) who had much contributed to the pioneer works on OAE events during 90’s based on the Cretaceous Yezo Group in Hokkaido.
              The session “Land-ocean linkage: Correlation, sedimentology and paleoenvironments” covers several active scientific topics on the paleoenvirontments, paleoclimate and paleoecosystems during the Cretaceous in Asia.
              The symposium also held the session “Asian geoparks highlighting Cretaceous”, though a small-sized session of three orals and 5 posters, introducing our members’ recent contributions to Cretaceous geopark activities in Japan, Korea and Canada. Prof. Takagi (Waseda Univ.) introduced the recently announced UNESCO’s plan called IGGP (International Geosciences and Geoparks Programme) unifying IGCP and Geoparks, as well as overviewed the recent JGN (Japanese Geopark Networks) activities and results. The Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark reported by Dr. Haggart in this session was accepted as the first Canadian Global Geopark at the 6th International UNESCO Conference on Global Geoparks just after our meeting (19-22 Sept., 2014).
              In poster sessions with one-hour core times at 13:00-14:00 on 5 and 6 September, a total of 16 Japanese and Korean graduate students presented their posters and discussed with many participants vigorously.
              Anyway, the symposium properly provided a unique opportunity for discussion and overview of the Asian Cretaceous sciences.

              A post-symposium four-day Field Excursion was undertaken after the scientific meeting at Waseda University with a total of 16 oversea participants (Canada: 1; France: 1; India: 3; Mongolia: 6; Pakistan: 1; Russia: 4) and 18 Japanese participants. A field guide was produced outlining the current state of knowledge regarding the Choshi, Nakaminato and Futaba Groups representing the Barremian to Maatrichtian forearc sediments.
              We observed forearc basin siliciclastic successions exposed along the Pacific coast 100 to 250 km east to northeast from Tokyo, Central Honshu Island: Choshi Group (storm-dominated shallow-marine sandstone and mudstone facies: Barremian-Aptian), Nakaminato Group (Campanian turbidite and offshore mudstone facies: Campanian-Maastrichtion) and Futaba Group (fluvial to shallow-marine sandstone and mudstone facies: Coniacian-Santonian). We can see the alternating marine (deep to shallow) and terrestrial (fluvial) deposits and their transitions in sedimentary facies and biofacies laterally and stratigraphically. The Choshi and Nakaminato groups are adopted as geosites of Choshi Geopark and North Ibaraki Geopark, respectively. We also observed the Miocene methane seepage carbonates deposited shallow-marine (possibly inner shelf) environments at Izura coast, Kita-ibaraki City, one of geosites of North Ibaraki Geopark.
              Furthermore, we visited a few excellent museums and observed their exhibition facilities highlighting the Cretaceous fossils and geology: Geological Museum of Geological Survey of Japan, Iwaki Coal and Fossil Museum and Iwaki Ammonite Center.

Meeting announcements and information, and meeting brief results were provided on IGCP608 website below:

Business Meeting during the Second International Symposium (September 5, 2014)
              In the Business Meeting held on September 5, the second day of the symposium, the leader (H. Ando), co-leader (S. Bajpai) and regional coordinators/national representatives from nine countries, discussed the several kinds of our activities listed below:
              1. Overview of project activities in 2014
              2. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium
              3. Annual report of national working groups in 2014
              4. Discussion of the project meetings for the year 2015
              5. Other activities in 2015
              6. Activities in 2016

(2) 4th International Palaeontological Congress in Mendoza, Argentina (Sept. 28 to Oct. 3) and a session as an opening symposium (2014) of IGCP632 “Continental Crises of the Jurassic: Major Extinction Events and Environmental Changes within Lacustrine Ecosystems”
              About less than ten members from 5 countries including IGCP632 project leader, Sha Jingeng (China) attended this symposium.

(3) 9th International Symposium “Cephalopods - Present and Past” (ISCPP9) in combination with the “International Coleoid Symposium” Universität Zu?rich, September 04-14, 2014 in Zürich, Switzerland.
              About eight members at least from 3 countries joined this quadrennial meeting.

(4) 6th International UNESCO Conference on Global Geoparks (19-22 Sept., 2014, Saint John Brunswick, Canada)
              Three members from 3 countries at least attended the large-scale conference after our small Geoparks session (5 Sept.).

(5) International Symposium on Asian Dinosaurs in Fukui, March, 21-23, 2014, Fukui Prefectural University and Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Fukui, Japan
              Over fifteen members from 5 countries among 54 dinosaur paleontologists from the world joined this specific dinosaur symposium.

(6) Symposium on “Earth History of Asia-II (EHA-II)”, October 31-November 1, Niigata University, Japan.
              Over fifteen members including two project co-leaders (H. And. X. Wan) and several Chinese and Japanese students presented their researches in oral and poster sessions.


3) Publications by IGCP 608 members (3.6)

              Scientific papers written by IGCP608 members as principle authors or junior co-authors are listed on RECENT PUBLICATIONS of BIBLIOGRAPHY on IGCP608 website.
              The proceedings volume of the second and first year meetings was decided to submit to Thematic Section "Land-Ocean Linkages and Biotic Evolution during the Cretaceous: Contribution from Asia and Western Pacific" of Island Arc (Wiley Online official journal of Geological Society of Japan and others). Four co-leaders and two regional leaders will act as guest editors. This expected proceedings volume will be great opportunities for non-native English speaking Asian scientists, to contribute their scientific endeavour to international journals.


4) Educational, training or capacity-building activities (3.3)

(1) Several PhD, M.Sc. and Bachelor programs are attended by members from universities and research institutes of several countries having for subject the research and education of Cretaceous geology and palaeontology. Several students obtained PhD and M.Sc. degrees through cooperative inter-college and international research: 22 students from Japan, South Korea and India presented their results in the second symposium.

(2) Dual Degree Program between Niigata University, Japan and China University of Geosciences (Beijing, Wuhan)
              Three Japanese and two Chinese PhD students have studied the Cretaceous strata in China: e.g. Mr. Yoshino has been working on palynology of SK-1 core in Songliao Basin.

(3) Oral and poster sessions mainly for students in international symposium
              In the Symposium on “Earth History of Asia-II”, a half day oral and two day poster sessions were organized mainly for graduate and bachelor students. Three of 12 oral and 9 of 31 posters were presented by Chinese and Japanese students, concerning with Cretaceous articles related to IGCP608.

(4) 7th China-Japan-Korea Graduate Student Forum - Environment, Resources and Life
              The “7th China-Japan-Korea Graduate Student Forum - Environment, Resources and Life” were held on September 26-28, 2014, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China. Wan, X. (co-leader) and Chinese IGCP members helped this meeting as committee members. Especially, Wan provided a keynote talk on the Cretaceous lake deposits of Songliao Basin in NE China concerned with Cretaceous paleoecosystem and paleoenvironments. This meeting itself covers agriculture, environmental and life sciences in scope. Among about 160 attending students from 13 universities of three countries, some (five or more) students from Japan and China presented their researches on Cretaceous geosciences related to IGCP608.

(5) Editorial supports on weekly Japanese magazine “The 4.6 billion Journey of Earth”
              The weekly Japanese magazine “The 4.6 billion Journey of Earth” (a total of 50 issues) has been recently published by a Japanese publisher, Asahi Shimbun Publications, with the leader’s (H. Ando) help as a supervising editor. As the 25th to 32nd issues out of 50 deal with the Cretaceous period, several members (geologists and paleontologists) have contributed to the editorial works as supervisors depending on their own special themes under Ando’s guidance. In the two issues of 25th and 29th as appendices to the shipped original annual report, our scientific results dealing with the Cretaceous environments for theme were briefly introduced to the public. We also have much contributed to public awareness on the dynamic ecosystems of the Cretaceous Earth as the past analogy of modern greenhouse Earth.


5) Activities involving other IGCP projects, UNESCO, IUGS or others (3.7)

(1) Other IGCPs
              As several members of IGCP608 have also joined two IGCP609 and 632 due to closely related scientific scopes and targets, their information on meetings and others is shared and circulated among members. We have several chances to attend wide-range of meetings.

(2) Geoparks activities
              As several members of IGCP608 in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Canada have been much involved in several activities of Geoparks for enhancing public awareness of geosciences and geological significance of geosites.
            In Japan a total of seven Japanese National Geoparks highlighting Cretaceous strata as below:
                  Hakusan-Tedorigawa Geopark
                  Dinosaur Valley Fukui Katsuyama Geopark
                  Choshi Geopark (visited in the field excursion of 2nd Meeting)
                  Mikasa Geopark
                  Amakusa (former Amakusa-Goshoura) Geopark
                  North Ibaraki Geopark (visited in the field excursion of 2nd Meeting)
                  Sanriku Geopark
have been certificated by Japanese Geopark Network for the last a few years. Several Japanese IGCP608 members of universities, museums and research institutes have much involved in such the Geoparks activities by providing scientific information on Cretaceous geosites in lectures, article writings and geo-tour guidance.
              Some of their aspects were introduced and discussed in the Cretaceous Geoparks session of our second meeting. H. Takagi, a Japanese Geopark Committee member briefly introduced the ongoing trend of IGGP (International Geosciences and Geoparks Programme) in UNESCO as well as the general review of Japanese Geopark Network activities a few years. The Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark, northeast British Columbia (Canada) reported by Dr. Haggart in this session was approved as the first Canadian Global Geopark at the 6th International UNESCO Conference on Global Geoparks (19-22 Sept., 2014) just after our meeting.
              During the field excursion of the second meeting, we visited three and two geosites of the “Choshi” and “North Ibaraki” Japanese Geoparks, respectively, to observe how geologic features are utilized in geo-tours and sightseeing, with support from some local peoples as geopark interpreters.


6) Joint international researches

              Several joint reaches such as China-Japan, China-Russia, China-USA, Japan-Philippines, Japan-Malaysia, Japan-Mongolia, Japan-Canada, Korea-India, Korea-USA and other teams were actively carried out in each the certain/specific field of the Cretaceous strata.
              For example, Japan-Mongolia research project organized by Hisao Ando (Ibaraki Univ.) had success in drilling about 240 meter cores of Cretaceous lacustrine beds in Southeast Gobi Basin for reconstructing a terrestrial environmental changes during mid-Cretaceous, following 150 m cores in 2013. The Malaysia-Japan joint research team discovered the first Cretaceous dinosaur fossils from Malaysia and held two press conferences to local and international (e.g. AFP) media. Several newspapers and some TV programs picked up this topic.


7) IGCP608 Website and Mailing List

              We have operated the project website under the following address (http://igcp608.sci.ibaraki.ac.jp/) as a platform to announce and share the information of our project activities in 2014, including download site of abstracts and field guides, publication lists of members since 2013, meeting photos and other related meeting information. By using mailing list, some kinds of information such as meetings, website updates and other announcements have been circulated.



1) General goals (4.1)

              Following the previous meetings in India, 2013 and Japan, 2014, the spatio-temporal paleo-environmental and paleo-ecosystem changes during the Cretaceous in the South to East Asia and Western Pacific region, especially in SW and NE China next year will be delineated on the basis of paleo-proxy data and a diversified fossil record.
              We will focus on the ICDP Songliao basin drilling-surveys including the previous SK-1 holes as well as other lacustrine basins in East Asia from the viewpoint of long-ranging paleoenvironmental changes for Cretaceous greenhouse Earth. As three similar meetings (IGCP608, 609 and 632) will be separately held during August to September, our meeting will place emphasis also on paleo-ecosystem changes and their responses to environmental changes during the Cretaceous. The field excursion will visit the Lower Cretaceous lacustrine strata in Liaoning Province, NE China, which are known for well-preserved prolific vertebrate, invertebrate and plant fossils crucially important for reconstructing Cretaceous ecosystems.
              Thematic Sections of Island Arc as proceedings volumes for the first and second meetings will be in review and published as the last issue of 2015 and the first issue of 2016.


2) International Meeting (4.2)

(1) Third International Symposium jointly with 12th Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems (MTE-12), August 16-20, 2015, Shenyang, NE China
              Organized by Prof. Sun Ge, Chinese IGCP608 leaders (Li Guobiao: China University of Geosciences) and other principal members with host organizations as Shenyang Normal University, Paleontological Museum of Liaoning (PMOL), Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaentology (NIGPAS), China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Jilin University.
              Symposium: 16-18 August at Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province
              Filed excursion: 19-20 August to Beipiao, Changyang and Jianchang of western Liaoning
              Scientific sessions
                  M-1 Biodiversity of the Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems
                  M-2 Mesozoic stratigraphy and its geological background
                  M-3 Mesozoic tectonics and sedimentary mineral resources
                  M-4 Evolution of dinosaurs and origin birds
                  M-5 Origin and early evolution of angiosperms
                  M-6 Mesozoic climatic and environmental changes
                  M-7 Cretaceous Ecosystem in Asia and Pacific (Workshop of IGCP 608)
                  M-8 Protections of Mesozoic geological heritages
(The First Circular was distributed on 10 January)

(2) International Workshop on Climate and Environmental Evolution in the Mesozoic Greenhouse World and 3rd IGCP 609 Workshop on Cretaceous Sea-Level Change, September 5–11, 2015, Nanjing, SE China
              Organized by Xiumian Hu and his colleagues, Nanjing University
              Symposium: 6-7 September at Nanjing University, Nanjing
              Field excursion: 8-11 September to Jiangsu to Zhejiang provinces, SE China The First Circular

(3) Second Symposium of IGCP632 (Continental Crisis of the Jurassic), September 12-13, 2015, Shenyang, NE China
              Organized by Jingeng Sha (IGCP632 leader: Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaentology), Enpu Gong (Northeastern University) and their colleagues
              Symposium: 12-13 September at Northeastern University, Shenyang, Liaoning Province
              Field excursion: 14-19 September to North Hebei, western Liaoning Province, NE. China The First Circular

(4) International Symposium on Asian Dinosaurs in Thailand, 2015