The overarching research question of this project is how microorganisms, animals, and plants influence the shape and development of the Earth’s surface over time scales from the present-day to the distant geologic past.
EarthShape bridges between scientific disciplines and includes geoscientists and biologists to study this complex question from different viewpoints. Approximately 60 German and 20 Chilean researchers are involved in a diverse range of projects of this priority program.
All study sites are located in the north-to-south trending Coastal Cordillera mountains of Chile, South America. These sites span from the Atacama Desert in the north to the Araucaria forests approximately 1300 km to the south. The site selection contains a large ecological and climate gradient ranging from very dry to humid climate conditions. The sites were selected to avoid other complicating factors such as differences in rock type, and glacial, and volcanic impacts.
EarthShape is a 6-year priority program that started in 2016 and is funded through the German Science Foundation (DFG-SPP 1803).