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Project 673 - The End of A Supereon – Winners and Losers at the Precambrian-Phanerozoic Transition

Brief outline of the project

Some of the first remains of large, multicellular organisms were discovered by geologists mapping the rocks of Southern Namibia – in the early 1900’s. One of these was named quite rightly for the discoverer Paul Range – Rangea.

This region has been searched and studied for more than a century, and yet there is no in depth summary of all that has been accomplished. This region hosts vast outcrops that have allowed ease of access and study of the sediments and other kinds of rocks, which by their very lithology and geochemistry allow detailed reconstruction of past environments and events.

The minute zircons preserved in some of these sediments allow precise timing of environmental changes and regional events, and the biotic events affected, such as the development of complex life leading eventually at the end of the Precambrian “Eon” biota and the rise of animal life and hard skeletons – the building blocks of the biota so familiar to us today.

This project intends to bring together all of the detail known, seek answers to the questions yet unresolved, then produce a publication pulling all of this detail together in print and in documentary.

Beyond the research output, other assets will be generated that can service the wider community as well – in education, in tourism, and hopefully will fuel sustainability in the region. This project follows on from IGCP493 and IGCP587, considered at the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO IGCP 40th anniversary celebrates as two of the top 40 projects of the more than 600 that were in place over those years.

Related Information

  • Duration: 2019-2020
  • IGCP Theme: Global Change
  • Website


  • Prof. Patricia Vickers-Rich (Australia)
    Address: School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment Monash University Melbourne, Victoria 3800 Australia

Watch a video about the project.