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CREEP, a new European Innovative Training Network

The Innovative Training Network CREEP (Complex RhEologies in Earth and industrial Processes) is funded as a Marie Sklodwoska-Curie Action of the Horizon 2020 program of the European Community.
The coordinator of the network is Andrea Tommasi, from Géosciences Montpellier.

CREEP is an interdisciplinary research and training network aimed at advancing our understanding of :
- the rheology of complex materials, specifically rocks, minerals, melts, and glasses, which present highly variable and strongly time-dependent mechanical behaviour, from brittle to ductile, and in which strain localization may be triggered by a large range of feedbacks with other processes such as fluid percolation, microstructural evolution, or shear heating ;
- how these rheologies control the dynamics of our planet, from the plate tectonic and mantle convection scales to local, human-induced seismicity, and how they affect industrial activities, such as energy production, geological storage of fuels and wastes, and production of high-performance glasses.

The core of the CREEP training program is a cross-disciplinary collaborative research effort focused on the complex mechanical behavior of Earth materials and its implications for geodynamic and industrial processes. This collaborative research programme embodies 16 PhD projects, which cover a large spectrum of applications, from deep Earth, crustal and near-surface deformation, to geothermal and petroleum exploration and industrial processes. Through these projects, the Early Stage Researchers appointed will acquire skills in experimentation, deformation modelling and seismology, applied at multiple length and time scales. Their training will be complemented by thematic short-courses, field trips, workshops, and by personal and career development courses and activities. Short-term internships with industrial partners will provide an understanding of the impact of research in the private sector.

The CREEP Ph.D. projects will be performed within a network composed by 10 leading academic centres in Earth Sciences in Europe :
• Geosciences Montpellier, France (Coordinator ; petrophysics, experimental deformation & modelling)
• Laboratoire FAST - Orsay, France (fluid mechanics & geodynamics)
• University of Bristol, UK (seismology)
• University of Durham, UK (experimental deformation)
• University College of London, UK (experimental deformation)
• Universita degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy (experimental tectonics)
• Utrecht University, Netherlands (experimental deformation, seismology)
• Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany (geodynamical modelling)
• Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster, Germany (seismology)
• ETH Zurich, Switzerland (geodynamical modeling)

The CREEP network is completed by private-sector partners with activities in which rheology is central : developing new technologies for the hydrocarbons industry (Schlumberger, Baker Hughes) developing scientific instrumentation (MP Strumenti), designing client-based software tools (Rockfield), optimizing production procedures for materials like glass, steel and salts (Schott, APERAM, AkzoNobel), and performing geothermal research and exploration (Reykjavik Geothermal, IGEM) or geophysics surveys (GMuG, Geospatial Research).