International Research Center on Karst(IRCK)/NICK

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Message from the Director

Date:2018-03-09 Author:IRCK/NICK

Message from theDirector 

Prof. Dr. Maoyan Hu

     Chinahas approximately 3.44 million km2 of karst areas (buried, covered,and exposed carbonate rock areas), about 36% of its total land, and 15.6% ofall the 22 million km2 karst areas in the world. The seven provincesincluding Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangdong, Chongqing, Hunan, Hubei, and Sichuan andthe Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in Southwest China have about 0.51 millionkm2 of exposed/outcropped carbonate rock areas, 5.8% of the totalland. Up to 82% of the rock desertification areas are in Yunan, Guizhou, andGuangxi.

     In this respect, these areas suffered serious environmental and geologicalproblems, such as rocky desertification, water pollution, water and soil erosion,karst collapse and mine water bursting. These problems have constrained thesustainable economic and social development. It is urgent to research the mechanismon the formation/evolution of global karst, and to develop relevanttechnologies in preventing or controlling such problems.

    To deal with these problems, IRCK has successively implemented six IGCP projects Geology, Climate,Hydrological and Karst Formation (IGCP 299,1990-1994); Karst Processes and theGlobal Carbon Cycle (IGCP 379, 1995-1999); Global Correlation of Karst Hydrogeology and Relevant Ecosystems (IGCP448, 2000-2004); Global Study of KarstAquifers and Water Resources (IGCP 513, 2005-2009); Environmental Change and Sustainability in Karst Systems  (IGCP/SIDA 598, 2011-2015); Processes, Cycle, and Sustainability of the CriticalZone in Karst Systems (IGCP 661, 2017-2021). These projects have consolidatedthe position of China as a global leader in karst research. In addition, IRCKhas signed 17 memorandum of understandings with internationalresearch organizations, and has successfully organized nine internationaltraining courses.

    Moreover, under the support of the International Big Scientific Plan on Resources and Environmental Effectsof Global Karst Dynamic Systems, IRCK will face enormouschallenges in the areas, explore the frontiers of karst and establish a global karst monitoring network.In the future, our work will provide global karst information to those who needit. 

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