Newsletter 6 – April 2017

CREEPers on conferences:

Some of the ESRs went to different conferences. Jana participated at a conference in Japan on “Origin and Evolution of deep primordial reservoirs”. It had four days of lectures and poster sessions with experts from different fields, who all referred to deep primordial material and its evolution in their talks including geochemist Bill McDonough, mineral physicist Jie Li, seismologist Ed Garnero and geodynamicist Paul Tackley. Besides, she could enjoy the Japanese Onsen- tradition and the food in the evening. So, it was not only a scientific but also a cultural experience.

This year the 21st DRT (International Conference on Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics) was hold in Inverness. The three-day conference contains selected talks and posters and pre, mid and post conference field trips in the highlands. Giacomo gave the talk “Viscous Flow Controls Slip Zone Thickness and Weakening during Coseismic slip in Calcite Gouges”, presenting a new conceptual model for the formation of mirror surfaces in carbonate rocks during seismic slip. The talk was awarded as the best student talk.

From the 18th to 21st of April 2017, Gianluca and Elenora attended the Subduction Interface Processes in Barcelona. This small conference was organized as the final event of our sister ITN project ZIP (Zooming Into Plates). It had the aim to bring together people who work on the subduction interface, on topics ranging from earthquakes to deep fluid circulation. Gianluca presented a poster about his boundary-element model in which he studies the dynamics of subduction along with the two-plates interaction at subduction interface. Elenora gave a talk about her first results concerning a global correlation between seafloor roughness and large- to mega-earthquakes along the subduction thrust fault. This SIP conference was a nice example of how a successful ITN project can be finished and how new results and ideas on various topics concerning the subduction plate interface can be shared.

Figure.1 Elenora was giving a talk in her recent results concerning a global correlation between seafloor roughness and large- to mega-earthquakes along the subduction thrust fault.

CREEPers on field work:

Before the EGU in Vienna, Angelo joined a pre-EGU field trip on “Deformation processes in the lower crust” in the Moldanubian area of the Bohemian Massif in Austria. The field trip was organised by the University of Vienna. During the two days (22-23th April), Angelo and the other participants went deep down into the Variscan lower crust of the Bohemian massif. They observed very high metamorphic and deformed rocks representing an invaluable scientific laboratory for studying the Variscan orogeny, which led to the continental collision of Laurussia and Gondwana in the Late Paleozoic. Due to its complexity, the nature, the provenance and the deformative history of these rocks and terrain is still not fully understood.

During the field trip, Angelo had the opportunity to look at different styles of deformation occurred in several rock types, such as migmatitic paragneiss, granulites, amphibolites and marbles affected by folding, boudinage and mineral lineation (figure), among other deformation structures.

Figure.2 Examples of deformation and outcropping observed during the field trip. (a) Isoclinal folds in granulite, (b) Boudinage of aplitic dykes in a metasedimentary rock. (c) Angelo, black jacket in the middle with hammer, sampling a granodioritic gneiss which is the oldest rock outcropping in Austria (1.38Ga).


Two ESRs are currently doing their secondments. Linfeng joined the Montpellier group. He is working with Manuel and Sylvie Demouchy to measure viscosity of glass at high pressure and temperature in Paterson press. Gianluca moved to Mainz where he started to work at JGU University on complex modelling of subduction. He is currently at SCHOTT company doing his internship at the R&D unit dedicated to the numerical modelling of industrial glass melting furnace.

Outreach Avcitivies:

Besides doing science, we also had some ESRs who did outreach activities. Beatriz and Linfeng, both from the University of Mainz, offered 2 seminars aimed at the first and fifth grade pupils in the school ‘Pacinotti-Archimede’ in Rome on February 17th. They introduced the Marie Skłodowska Curie actions and encouraged the young students to study science.

Giacomo was given the opportunity to give a short seminar to the last year students of the “Liceo Scientifico Dal Piaz” in Feltre (Italy), his hometown. A two-hour presentation on the study of faults and earthquake propagation, mostly overlapping with his field of study, entitled “The Brittle Behaviour of the Earth: Faults and Earthquakes”. By request of the science teachers Giacomo presented a brief overview on the recent earthquake swarm in Central Italy.

Even though earthquakes have a heavy impact on everyday life in Italy, few comprehend their geological significance and struggle to understand what the scientific community is doing with their research. It is therefore of paramount importance to improve the communication with the public fostering outreach activities outside the academia.

9th May, 2017

Edited by: Wen Zhou, Philipp Prasse, Giacomo Pozzi and Lingfeng Ding

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