Established in 1997, the Tectonics Special Research Centre's mission is to discover the supercontinents of which Australia has been part in the past three million years and the processes that formed them.
The nature of the Centre’s mission requires great breadth of geological and geophysical knowledge, which will be acquired through primary investigation, and by collaboration and synthesis of existing and new knowledge gathered by others. International collaboration is a key part of the Centre's work plan.
The Centre is based at the University of Western Australia with nodes at Curtin University, University of Texas, Harvard and Yale.
The centre has esteablished five objectives :
(i) Establishment of the Apparent Polar Wander Paths of the major Precambrian blocks of Australia and formerly contiguous regions to determine their amalgamation and dispersal history.
(ii) Investigation of the supercontinent hypothesis through combined palaeomagnetic, kinematic and tectonostratigraphic analysis.
(iii) Investigation of modern and ancient amalgamation and dispersal processes in continent‹continent and continent island arc settings.
(iv) Investigation of whether plate tectonics as constructed for the last 200 million years of Earth history is applicable for the Earth prior to 1,000 million years ago.
(v) Analogue and numerical modelling of continental amalgamation and dispersal processes.