A broad knowledge on the interplay between various processes in space and time within the solid earth through an interdisciplinary research has become vital to address the enigmatic geodynamic problems. Fundamental knowledge of these processes is becoming increasingly an important prerequisite for understanding the nature and origin of mineral deposits and for the future mineral exploration strategies. Natural hazards, particularly the earth tremors and landslides in the southwestern part of the Indian shield seem to be closely linked to the neotectonic (Neogene and Quaternary) activity which is often manifested along the old (Archaean or Proterozoic) shear zones or faults which may sometimes represent old regional cratonic and terrain boundaries. Development of landscape of the terrain, drainage pattern and micro-watersheds are also considered to have been controlled by the geotectonic evolution of the region. Thus it is quite obvious that basic research in understanding the geodynamics of any region is vital to address and manage the new challenges confronting the human society.
The Indian shield including Kerala region is bestowed with diverse geological history spanning from Achaean to the Recent times. Lithologically, Precambrian high-grade granulites (charnockites and gneisses) with several igneous units (in the form of dykes and plutons), laterite capping and coastal sedimentaries provide good avenues to understand the deep internal as well as surficial processes of the solid earth and also contribute towards establishing linkages to interactive processes with the hydrosphere and the atmosphere. Structurally the regions is a polyphasedly deformed terrain characterised by several deep faults and shear zones. These zones may represent the Proterozoic (or sometimes Archaean) terrain boundaries. Tracing these terrain boundaries into the neighboring continental blocks, once contiguous in the geological past, petrological and geochemical correlations and comparisons of (apparent) pole paths have proposed the pas super continental assembly (examples Gondwana, Rodinia etc) or dispersal. In addition these investigations would provide insights to the understanding of the deep crustal processes, petrogenetic aspects of continental magmatism, nature and evolution of mantle evolution, physico-chemical changes with rock degradation and the process of lateritisation etc and contribute to many national and global research projects that are being formulated by the ILP or by the UNESCO sponsored IGCP projects. Considering these aspects and the geological setting into account the Geosciences Division has designed the research programmes.
Geosciences Division has been responding to the challenges of earth scientists by pursuing investigations in four broad areas encompassing geodynamics, natural hazards, groundwater investigations and watershed management with special reference to Kerala. The programs maintain a balanced blending of basic and applied studies on themes that are more relevant to the State and maintain continuity in the activities with long term goals and short term requirements of the society. As can be seen the scientist have been successful in making an impact in the frontier areas of national and international geology scenario crossing all geographical boundaries and also have imparted their knowledge in attending to the needs of the Kerala State.