In order to fulfil the scientific mission, ICG research comprises three complementary research themes : Depositional Environments: Evolution, Dynamics and Climate Change; Functioning of Landscape Ecosystems; Innovative Measurement and Modelling. The first theme explores landscape formation, mainly in relation to changes in climate, vegetation, and sediment dynamics at various temporal and spatial scales. Emphasis is on the identification of environmental change through the study of the geological record and of geomorphological processes in depositional environments. This implies that, while temporal and spatial scales may vary, research is largely focused on regional and continental scale phenomena, at geological time scales. The theme is subdivided into two sub-themes, one dealing with the dynamics and evolution of river and coastal systems , the other with the paleoclimatology and paleoecology of the Quaternary . The second theme emphasises the landscape as a functional system. It studies the functioning of the ecosystem and how this is affected by changes in environment and climate, particularly land-use change and other human influences. This has implications for the temporal and spatial scales that the theme concentrates on, which tend to be short and rather local or topical (i.e. a specific landscape ecosystem). Two sub-themes are distinguished, which concentrate on terrestrial ecosystems and geomorphological systems . The third theme is dedicated to the development and application of methods for measuring and analysing temporal, spatial and spatio-temporal environmental data. It is concerned with the development and application of powerful tools for collecting, storing, analysing, modelling and displaying large amounts of data, either collected in the field or from remote sensing platforms or obtained from digital databases. Advances made in this theme are used for the analysis and modelling of the systems and processes studied in the first two themes.