Sponsored by:
State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology (Tongji University)

Convened by:
Zhifei Liu, Tongji University, China
Till J.J. Hanebuth, Coastal Carolina University, United States




The Sunda Shelf is the largest tropical shelf in the world. It provides particularly well-suited conditions for high-resolution studies to reconstruct major geomorphic changes on the maritime continent and assess associated interactions with the global climate since the Pliocene. Three international workshops, the first at Jogyakarta (Indonesia) in November 2015, the second at Shanghai (China) in July 2016, and the third virtually (Zoom Meeting) in March 2022, were organized to develop the Sunda Shelf IODP drilling proposal.


To this end, a proposal (#907-Pre) led by Prof. Karl Stattegger and Prof. Pinxian Wang was submitted in October 2016. The proposal, entitled “Evolution of the Pliocene-Pleistocene Tropical Sunda Shelf (SE Asia): Reconstructing Sea Level Change, Drainage System Development, and Carbon Cycling”, was focused on the Natuna Basin in the northeastern Sunda Shelf and attempted to reconstruct the history of eustatic sea-level fluctuations, to reveal the development of major river systems in the Sunda Shelf region, and to assess its global climate impact.
The revised proposal (#1007-Full) with the same title was submitted in April 2022, extending the drilling target area to the entire northern Sunda Shelf, including the original Natuna Basin, as well as the Malay Basin and the Pattani Basin in the Gulf of Thailand to the northwest. The proposal then received quite positive comments from the SEP (science evaluation panel) in June 2022, although there are still numerous science and site survey data issues. The substantial revision is greatly encouraged.

The motivation of the 4th workshop is to further communicate scientific objectives and to discuss existing issues that the SEP raised. Through this workshop, a revised version of the Proposal #1007-Full is expected to be submitted very soon. Some initial study plans by utilizing/sharing existing seismic data and sediment cores are expected to be realized to stimulate substantive cooperation among participants in near future.

Scientific Program
The program will consist of an overview presentation, followed by selected presentations on scientific objectives, site selections, and analytical approaches, and finally by panel discussions. The workshop is expected to well address all existing issues and to reach a consensus on re-submitting the full proposal. The detailed agenda will be available after the submission of abstracts.

Call for Registration & Abstract

Participants who plan to attend the workshop should register by submitting the followinginformation to the local contact: full name, gender, job title, institution, country, mailing address, and email address. Registration for this workshop is free.


Abstracts for presentations on various topics of the Sunda Shelf drilling particularly associated with the scientific objectives and site selections are welcomed. Accepted abstracts will be presented mainly as orals, but the opportunity for posters is also provided.
Abstract format: MS Word file; title, authors, affiliation(s), e-mail address of corresponding author, main text (A4, maximum 2 pages including figures). All abstracts will be collated in an abstract volume that will be distributed to all participants.

Travel grant application

International travel fundings have been secured for all co-proponents of the proposal (#1007-Full). Additional grants are available to other qualified participants on basis of application. The grant will cover their least expensive round-trip air tickets and/or accommodations (November 7-9). Those who intend to apply for a travel grant should submit their applications before 20 September 2023. The application shall include: (1) a cover letter containing detailed travel budget and the amount you are applying for; (2) a brief academic CV (1-2 pages); (3) an abstract to be presented in the workshop. The result will be noticed within two weeks of receipt of application materials.


Foreign nationals who need a visa to enter China must apply and obtain a visa in advance.
Participants are strongly encouraged to check out to determine their visa requirements. Those who need invitations should contact us at your earliest convenience. Invitation letter is only issued to registered participants of the workshop. However, the workshop has the right to deny the issuing of invitation letter.

Important Dates and Schedule

20 September 2023: submission for abstract, registration, and travel grant application
20 October 2023: announcement of scientific agenda
8-9 November 2023: scientific program

Local Contact

For inquiry and correspondence, please contact:
Ms. Yangyang Li, The IODP-China Office; email: iodp_china@tongji.edu.cn
Ms. Nina Cui, State Key Laboratory of Marine Geology (Tongji University); email: