Relative to most parts of North America, the Great Plains region, which is bordered by the Rocky Mountain Front on the west and the Mississippi River on the east, has been understudied in terms of the structure, formation, and evolution of the underlying crust, mantle, and core. The anticipated arrival of the USArray portable seismic stations, which will cover the entire United States regardless of surface geology and tectonic activities, and the deployment of the accompanying flexible array stations and the permanent seismic stations in this area, will fill this gap and address numerous problems related to the structure and dynamics of the Earth. Detailed information about USArraycan be found at http://www.earthscope.org/usarray/.
To maximize the effectiveness of the upcoming USArray, formulate cooperative studies, and identify geologic targets for detailed studies using the flexible array stations of USArray, a pre-EarthScope Great Plains workshop was recently hosted by Kansas State University's Department of Geology The workshop brought together about 40 geoscientists with interests ranging from surface processes to mantle dynamics, from about 25 institutions. Participants discussed scientific objectives related to USArray's Great Plains coverage, with an emphasis on future collaborations to maximize our understanding of the geology of the Great Plains region, from the Earth's surface to the core-mantle boundary. This will lead to a better understanding of the geologic development of cratonic regions, and provide valuable data for integrated studies of continental lithosphere and deep Earth structure over a wide range of scales.