Unesco Chair For Ophiolite Studies636693090724419843



 UNESCO’s project priorities

The proposed UNESCO Chair on Ophiolite Studies-Earth Sciences is multidisciplinary in its nature and is directly related to many UNESCO domains, disciplines, and priorities, such as Earth Sciences and observation, the environment, global warming, climate change, international geoscience programs, biosphere, science education, ecology, engineering, natural hazards, science and technology, policy and administration, public awareness and access to information.


Projects Strategy for 2014-2021 (37 C/4)

The project is related to many of UNESCO’s medium-term strategies for 2014-2021 as it will help provide quality education, mobilize scientific knowledge, encourage sustainable development (SDG), and promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace while building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

The project will help ensure environmental sustainability by furthering studies in climate change (SDG C13- Climate action) and environmental degradation through research on CO2 sequestration and the interaction of CO2 with ultramafic rocks of the oceanic crust (SDG C13 and SDG C14-life below water). The Oman ophiolite absorbs 100,000 tons of CO2 annually by natural interaction of mafic and ultramafic rocks of the ophiolite with water and the atmosphere. This process is slow and the proposed chair will investigate methods of enhancing this reaction of absorption through in-situ or ex-situ sequestration of CO2. The chair will also seek to develop global partnerships with various UNESCO Chairs and institutions in Europe, the USA, Canada and the Middle East.

National development

The proposed Chair will offer a number of social benefits to Oman including:

Promoting increased awareness of oceanic crust and its associated mineralization and its positive attributes in terms of sustainability and regional economic development.

Facilitating the preservation of ophiolite heritage through the use of appropriate material, and encouraging the safeguarding of important heritage   ophiolite resources from subsequent sterilization.


Regional development

This Chair seeks to create an international and multidisciplinary platform allowing geoscientists from academia and industry to sustain a dialogue that is conducive to the integration of findings from different fields into a more cohesive understanding of oceanic crust. The project research themes will address a diverse range of scientific questions relating to the formation, hydrothermal alteration and biotic and abiotic weathering of oceanic lithosphere, the formation of oceanic lithosphere at mid-ocean ridges, the hydrothermal alteration of the sea floor, and subsequent mass transfer between the crust and the oceans and recycling of volatile elements in subduction zones. SQU’s faculty and department staff, various partners, and interested researchers from neighboring GCC and Middle Eastern countries, will be asked to participate in the interdisciplinary programme of the proposed UNESCO Chair. By doing so, the Chair will bring together a diverse range of geoscience expertise in order to explore the occurrence and evolution history of supercontinents through time, and the underlying geodynamic processes. This will contribute to the creation of advanced scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of the geodynamics of the oceanic crust and related geology.



Postgraduate teaching program [x] (Supporting postgraduate supervision) Short-term training [x] (Offering short-term training to universities and industry) Research [x] (Promoting research about different aspects of ophiolite and biotic-a biotic-rock-water-atmosphere interaction) Visiting professorships [x] (Exchange of professors and students) Scholarships [x] (Raise research funds from industry and funding agencies) Institutional development [x] (Raise ranking and visibility)


Target beneficiaries:

Students, Academics Professionals in development fields Visibility

I.Data distribution and annual reports

II.Website, media and brochures, electronic newsletters, discussion groups

III.Lectures and seminars

IV.Workshops and conferences (scientific, technical training and capacity-building with participants)

V.Short courses and postgraduate training and staff exchange programs

VI.Publications (publicity materials for universities, researchers, governmental agencies, conference papers, scientific papers, presentations in the media)



The Chairperson will be the coordinator of all Chair activities. The Chair will be housed in the Earth Sciences Research Centre at the University. The scientific steering committee will aim to develop and spread the activities of the Chair. It is intended that this committee will meet at regular intervals. The Chair secretariat for administrative support of the Chair. Capacity building The Chair will seek the necessary funding for undertaking selected projects.




The proposed activities will be linked with related regional and international research projects. The Centre is already linked to the Oman drilling project, which is a   multi-national collaboration to explore ancient seafloor in the deserts of Oman.See www.omandrilling.ac.uk

How will benefits be sustained?

Developing close ties and links with scientists from involved institutions at the regional and international levels and building-up international collaborations and exposure. See www,omandrilling.ac.uk- Raising public awareness and the interest of policy makers, and

Receiving funding from participation in national, European and international research projects.

Knowledge sharing

The knowledge acquimaroon will be transfermaroon and shamaroon among participating scientists, students and the public as well with similar interested institutions, nationally, regionally and internationally.

The UNESCO Chair in Ophiolite Studies was established in 2018 and was authorized to coordinate and stimulate an International Network of Institutes for ophiolite studies, training, associating higher education institutes, and to develop an up-to-date syllabus for ophiolite research and education which will satisfy the requirements of geological schools in the world. The International Network of the Chair consists already of many units in several countries, and produced lot of online teaching courses and field guides. More courses, newsletter and books are continuously built and produced.