GeoPRISMS (Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins) was a community effort that studied the origin and evolution of continental margins. The GeoPRISMS program (2010-2021) was funded by the National Science Foundation to support interdisciplinary and shoreline crossing activities, combining 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 included two broadly integrated initiatives linked by five overarching scientific topics and themes:

  • 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) combined large scale amphibious deployments and smaller marine and terrestrial field studies at CascadiaEastern USAlaska-AleutianEast Africa, and New Zealand. Field studies were combined with thematic and global studies. The GeoPRISMS community effort was guided by an Office and a Steering and Oversight Committee.

The guiding principles to study the main themes were:
  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 was the legacy of the NSF MARGINS Program. The GeoPRISMS Program was an outgrowth of approximately two years of self-assessment during the final years of MARGINS, constructive reviews by the MARGINS Decadal Review Committee (DRC, read the review documents), and substantial community input regarding future science directions during the MARGINS Successor Planning Workshop (MSPW) held in San Antonio in February 2010.

 icon-chevron-right Learn more about the GeoPRISMS Draft Science Plan and Implementation Plans page