The annual meeting of IGCP 653, entitled ‘Filling the gap between Cambrian Explosion and the GOBE’, will investigate the initiating causes and processes that produced the rapid diversification of marine organisms during the Ordovician Period, known as the ‘Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event’ (GOBE). Because the timing of the radiations varied among biotic clades and palaeocontinents and may have its roots in the Cambrian, stratigraphic sections ranging from Guzhangian (Series 3, Cambrian) to Middle Ordovician will be visited during the post-conference field excursion. A workshop on the Burgess Shale–type Guole Lagerstätte of the Jiangshanian (Furongian) age from Guangxi Autonomous Region, South China will be organized during the meeting for participants to examine specimens of trilobites, non-trilobites arthropods, brachiopods, graptolites, Cnidarians, echinoderms, hyoliths, palaeoscolecids worms, algae, etc. from the site.
The meeting in Yichang includes three days of indoor scientific sessions for delegates to present their latest research and a full day mid-conference field trip to the GSSPs of Dapingian and Hirnantian Stages including a historical site of local Hulu ethnic minority (ca. 2200 BC) near the Yichang city.
Yichang, located in western Hubei Province, central China, is one of the major cities in the Yangtze Gorges area. The city has a long and glorious history since the Han Dynasty (over two thousand years ago). It has now developed into a modern city of industry, business and tourism, with a population of 4 million. Among the most popular tourism sites near the city, are the spectacular Yangtze Gorges and the Yangtze Gorges Dam (hitherto the largest dam in the world).
Yangtze Gorges area was the birthplace and cradle of modern Chinese geology, where J.S. Lee and A.W. Grabau conducted and published their geological investigations in 1920s. The area yields many classic geologic sections of Neoproterozoic to Permian ages, among which include the GSSPs of Dapingian and Hirnantian Stages (Ordovician). The Cambrian and Ordovician rocks in the area are of typical shallow-water, platform facies, which consist of carbonates and shales. This area is also a classical area of practical courses in teaching field geology for university students due to the complete marine stratigraphic records of the Cryogenian to Triassic.
December 5, 2016: Distribution of First Circular
March 1, 2017: Website of the conference available for information and registration
April 1, 2017: Distribution of Second Circular
September 15, 2017: Distribution of Last Circular