Since 1990, ILP projects have been operating under the umbrella of four broad research themes:
1. Geoscience of Global Change
2. Contemporary Dynamics and Deep Processes
3. Continental Lithosphere
4. Oceanic Lithosphere
ILP promotes and directs research on first-order problems in modern integrated Solid Earth Science centred on the lithosphere. Proposed subjects for new task forces should include
- Integrated mapping of the lithosphere (compilation of global, crust, lithosphere heat flow, lithosphere strength)
- Mantle dynamics (implications for lithosphere dynamics; fate of subducted lithosphere; deformation and evolution of the lithosphere)
- Response of the lithosphere to surface processes
- Paleoclimate changes (Paleoclimate record of lithosphere changes, surface temperature evolution of the atmosphere)
The science in ILP is organized in task forces and regional coordinating committees addressing a specific topic or problem in an interdisciplinary approach.
A key feature of task forces is their dynamic nature providing a challenge to bring in new talent. Task forces exist for a limited period of five years, followed by a review upon which an extension with one term can follow. A special effort will be made to catalyse on recent initiatives in Northern America on large scale data acquisition (e.g. EARTHSCOPE, TOPO EUROPE) and to seek added value between major national programmes such as vigorously pursued in e.g. China, India and South America and emerging activities elsewhere.