XVIII INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON THE CARBONIFEROUS AND PERMIAN 2015 held in Kazan, Federal Republic of Tatarstan, Russia
The XVIII International Congress on the Carboniferous and Permian was held at the famous Kazan (Volga region) Federal University, the second oldest university of the Russian Federation, in the marvelous capital of Tatarstan with more than 1,000 years’ history. It was a congress that was worth the trip in every aspect, an excellent organized scientific meeting in a very friendly atmosphere with very hearty, typical Russian organizers. Danis Nurgaliev as the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Vladimir V. Silantiev, the Congress General Secretary, Milyausha N. Urazaeva, as Assistant Secretary, and their team have done a really great job.
The congress was an efficient platform for the business and formal and informal scientific communication of scientists from various countries, and facilitated discussion of further joint research and multidisciplinary studies on various problems of Carboniferous and Permian geology. 415 scientists were represented (165 attending in person) from 33 countries (Australia, Austria, Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and USA). During 4 days, 18 sessions were held and 106 presentations were given.
The congress demonstrated considerable progress in the studies of GSSP candidate sections of Carboniferous and Early Permian stages, which have not yet obtained complete formal status in the International Stratigraphic Scale. 17 reports were devoted to this issue. This regards primarily the Serpukhovian Stage (Verkhnyaya Kardailovka section in Russia and the Naqing section in China). New data have also been presented for the base of the Gzhelian (Usolka section in Russia and Naqing section in China). For the Early Permian, the Usolka section was approved as a candidate for the GSSP stratotype of the Sakmarian Stage. It has been shown that the Mechetlino section (Kungurian) and the Dalniy Tyulkas section (Artinskian) require additional study and excavation of presently covered intervals. It has been noted that these studies are particularly urgent.
Important new data were presented on the stratigraphy, paleontology, paleoecology, tectonics, paleogeography, and paleoclimatology of the Carboniferous and Permian periods. In particular, in the framework of IGCP 592 ‘Continental Construction in Central Asia’, the congress considered and approved the proposed model of the stratigraphy of the oceanic plate emphasizing its important role in deciphering the evolution of the Paleo-Asian Ocean and development of the Central-Asian Fold belt.
A main focus was set on “Late Paleozoic continental biota: systematics, ecosystems, and paleobiogeography” as well as on “End-Permian mass extinction and Early Triassic recovery” including new data of the IGCP 630 on the ecosystem changes at the Permian-Triassic boundary and the recovery of live and ecosystems in the Early Triassic.
During the congress evenings, two business meetings were held by the Subcommission on Carboniferous Stratigraphy which was chaired by the Chairman Barry C. Richards, and the Subcommission on Permian Stratigraphy (SPS) which was chaired by the Chairman Shuzhong Shen, respectively. On both meetings reports were given and futures tasks of the non-marine – marine Late Carboniferous–Permian–Early Triassic Working Group led by Joerg W. Schneider, were discussed. During the SPS business meeting, 6 voting members (Joerg W. Schneider, Ausonio Ronchi, Katsumi Ueno, Galina Kotlyar, Alexander Biakov, Xiangdong Wang) attended the meeting. SPS Chair Shuzhong Shen gave an oral presentation to show all the participants the progress and problems of all remaining GSSPs and the new problems of some ratified GSSPs of the Permian System. In particular, the current problems which block the further advance of the Cisuralian GSSPs in the southern Urals were clearly explained. After the business meeting, the Russian team organized a meeting to discuss the problems presented by Shuzhong Shen and a plan to excavate the sections was initiated by the Russian team led by Dr. Galina Kotlyar.
Besides that a meeting of the ICCP Standing Committee and an IGCP 630 business meeting took place. Four workshops were delivered by the “Company SocTrade” LLC, a Swedish-Russian company which is amongst others specialized in supplying laboratory equipment for quality control in the oil and gas industry.
Highlights of the congress have been the pre-, mid- and post-congress excursions. In several regards – demonstrating the impressive progress made by the Russian geoscientists during the last decade, stimulating interesting discussions between the participants, and last not least providing unique impressions on landscapes and historical sites in different regions of Russia. Despite the often long distances between single outcrops in the vast Russia the excursions had been run perfectly in time. Impressive were also the transport techniques by river boats, hovercraft, and rubber boats organized by the excursion guides especially to the marvelous outcrops on the banks of the rivers in the Vologda and Arkhangelsk regions in the north of European Russia as well as in the Volga and Kama Region of southeastern Tatarstan.
Further information could be found on the congress homepage http://kpfu.ru/iccp2015, the abstract volume and the excellent prepared excursion guides are available to be downloaded, which contain many otherwise unpublished data. For the participants of the congress – please use the offer to publish your contributions in one of the Proceedings Volumes (see the mentioned homepage).
The ICCP Standing Committee accepted the friendly offer of the University Cologne, represented by Hans-Georg Herbig, chairman of the German Subcommission of Carboniferous Stratigraphy, to held XIX ICCP congress in Germany in 2019.