interesting debate may arise about any aspect of these challenges, they are manifestly so important and largely uncontroversial that we chose not to invest our limited time in such debate. Likewise, we have chosen not to comment on the descriptions of supporting infrastructure (e.g., space geodetic networks, information systems) and education, except as they relate to the five main observational strategies. Again, these issues are not controversial at the level of detail given in the SESWG report. These decisions reflected our interpretation that our charge was to focus on the major initiatives proposed in the report.


included (1) interactions of the earth’s surface and interior with the oceans and atmosphere on time scales of hours to millions of years; (2) the evolving landscape as a record of tectonics, volcanism, and climate change during the last 2 million years; (3) the motions and deformations of the lithosphere within the plates and across plate boundaries; (4) the evolution of continents and the structure of the lithosphere; (5) the dynamics of the mantle including the driving mechanisms of plate motion; and (6) the dynamics of the core and the origin of the magnetic field. See National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Solid Earth Science in the 1990s, Volume 1—Program Plan, NASA Technical Memorandum 4256, Washington, D.C., 61 pp., 1991.

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