TOPO-EUROPE: Studying continental topography and Deep Earth-Surface processes in 4D

Sierd Cloetingh*, Hans Thybo, Claudio Faccenna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

29 Citations (Scopus)


TOPO-EUROPE is a multidisciplinary international research program that addresses the interaction of processes inherent to the deep Earth (lithosphere, mantle) with surface processes (erosion, climate, sea level), which together shaped the topography of Europe. The objective of this programme is to assess neotectonic deformation rates and to quantify related geo-risks, such as earthquakes, flooding, landslides, rock falls and volcanism. Research, incorporating data interactive modeling, focuses on the lithosphere memory and neotectonics, with special attention on the thermo-mechanical structure of the lithosphere, mechanisms controlling large-scale plate boundary and intraplate deformations, anomalous subsidence and uplift, and links with surface processes and topography evolution. The TOPO-EUROPE natural laboratories, in which these processes are analyzed, cover a wide range of geodynamic settings. These include the post-collisional Alpine/Carpathian/Pannonian-Basin system, the very active Aegean-Anatolian and Apennines-Tyrrhenian orogens and back-arc basins, the Caucasus-Levant area in the Arabia-Europe collision zone, the Iberian Peninsula caught up between Alpine orogens, the meta-stable West and Central European Platform, the stable East-European Platform and the seismically active and elevated Scandinavian continental margin. The TOPO-EUROPE Project is a component of the International Lithosphere Program. A European Science Foundation EUROCORES project provides funding for part of the research for a total amount of 13.5 M Euro, creating new research positions for 60 young researchers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-32
Number of pages29
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Continental Topography
  • Earth System Dynamics
  • Lithosphere/surface processes
  • Neotectonics
  • Source/sink relations


Dive into the research topics of 'TOPO-EUROPE: Studying continental topography and Deep Earth-Surface processes in 4D'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this