The International Basement Tectonics Association is a loosely organized, but dedicated, evolving group of earth scientists who are interested in all aspects of basement rocks. An early focus was on fracturing of the earth's crust, often early in geologic time, that affected and controlled more recent fracturing in all of its manifestations. The Association has expanded in scope to the study and understanding of all aspects of the crustal processes of basement rocks - their formation, history, rejuvenation; their effects on later rocks; and their utilization as both process and material to support societal needs. Location and expertise of the individual conference host suggests the focus of a meeting - from active process to records of origin, from plate tectonics to zircon overgrowth.|
The evolution of the Association is mirrored in the proceeding volumes. The first conference was initiated and organized in 1974 by two industry geologists, S. Parker Gay, Jr. of Applied Geophysics, Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Robert A. Hodgson, Gulf Oil Company. Analysis of the newly acquired satellite data documented that the earth's crust was highly lineated, an earlier conclusion of Gay, Hodgson and others. The rationale for the first basement tectonics conference relied heavily on the connection to lineaments.
In later conferences, the theme of the IBTA broadened and the presentations matured to include both academic/scientific subjects to applications that more immediately benefited society. The statement from the 5th Basement Tectonics Conference in Cairo is reproduced as follows:
The 10th Conference, held in 1992 , Duluth, Minnesota, situated on one of the world's larger basement cratons, focused on regional rifting and rejuvenation tectonics:
The 13th Conference held in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1997, dealt in large part with studies of the Appalachian Mountains and its metamorphic rocks:
The next Conference to be held, the 15th in A Coruña Spain, July 2000, will focus on Variscan-Appalachian Dynamics - Building the Upper Paleozoic Basement of northern Spain.
Thus, the themes of the many Basement Tectonics Conferences has varied with the location of the conferences over the years, but the prevailing thread that runs throughout is still control of younger fracture events by earlier ones. Field trips to view basement or basement-related structures have been an important part of all the conferences.
Additional information on past conferences may be obtained from the following published writeups:
2. Geotimes, February 1977, p.21
3. Geotimes, December 1990, p.18
4. Skillings Mining Review, August 22, 1992, p.10
IBTA is not an annual dues society. The members are those professionals who attend and participate in the conferences and acquire membership in the Association until the next conference. At the conference, an open forum is held to discuss the affairs of the association and to plan for future meetings. Continuity and organization of the Association is provided the Board of Trustees.
The IBTA operates under a constitution and set of by-laws first registered in the State of Utah in 1978. The present by-laws were revised from the original under the direction of D.L. Baars in 1984. They specify a 5-person governing board consisting of a Chief Trustee, a Deputy Chief Trustee, a Deputy Trustee, an Associate Trustee/Treasurer and an Assistant Trustee/Secretary in decreasing order of rank. The Chief Trustee is responsible for the organization of the Basement Tectonics Conference that occurs at the end of his term and retires after that conference takes place. On the last day of the conference the five trustees choose a new Associate Trustee from the membership of the association and the remaining Trustees all advance one position in rank.
The executive offices of the association have remained at 661 South 400 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111, since the first conference in 1974, and Anna Mariea Gay has been Secretary/Treasurer of the association during this period.
For those qualified institutions that may wish to hold a Basement Tectonics Conference it is necessary to contact the Board of Trustees of the Basement Tectonics Association. Preference is given to those organizations that have the financial capability to hold such a conference and those that have professional personnel with experience and reputation in basement studies and basement mapping. The location of the conference site and the ability to host field trips to important basement or basement-related geological features is also considered in the selection of Basement Tectonics host organizations.