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Final meeting of European Innovative Training Network CREEP

ITN CREEP (for Initial Training Network - RhEologies in Earth and Industrial Processes Complex) funded by the European initiative H2020, and coordinated by Géosciences Montpellier (Andréa Tommasi, Manteau & Interface team), bringing together 10 research groups from six european countries, ends this spring. The last workshop took place from 27th January to 1st February at the Ecole de Physique des Houches, France, and brought together 50 participants.

This workshop gave an overview of the numerous results obtained by the 16 PhDs carried out within the framework of the ITN CREEP in different aspects of the deformation of the solid Earth and geomaterials. Four main themes were discussed : lithospheric and convective mantle rheology, rheology and dynamics of faults, fractures and applied rheology, and the interactions between magmas and deformation. Videos from most of the presentations are available on the ITN CREEP YouTube channel (
The session "Rheology of the lithosphere and the convective mantle" started with a review of our knowledge and main open questions on the rheology of the upper mantle by L. Hansen (Oxford Univ. ). Then the CREEP PhD students : M. Thieme (GM), L. Mameri (GM), G. Gerardi (FAST) and N. Sgreva (FAST, Orsay) presented new experimental constrains on the rheology of olivine, numerical modeling with the analysis of the role of frozen crsytallographic preferred orientations of olivine in the lithosphere, on the organization of intraplate seismicity with the effect of subduction on mantle convection, and a laboratory study on the deformation of bi-phased systems, such as as magmatic chambers or the ocean of magma in the early Earth. The session continued with a deep dive in Earth. S. Merkel (Lille Univ.) presented the state of the art of our knowledge of phase transitions in the mantle and the CREEP PhD students : J. Schierjott (ETH) and A. Pisconti (Münster Univ) presented models analyzing the role of a change in grain size on the lower mantle structure and observations constraining the deformation at the base of the lower mantle. Next, P. Cordier (Lille Univ.) presented new advances made by atomistic modeling on deformation processes and mantle rheology from the lithosphere to the mantle-core boundary.
This session concluded with a discussion between "producers and users" of laws of behavior led by A. Davaille (FAST, Orsay), and initiated by the presentation of F. Garel (GM) on the constraints brought by geodynamic models using the last generation of laws of mechanical behavior of olivine and on the definition of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.
The session "Rheology and fault dynamics" started with the presentation by E. Aharonov (Univ. Jerusalem) of a physical model to explain the behavior of faults. Then, the CREEP PhD students : G. Pozzi (Durham Univ.) and G. Meyer (UCL) presented experimental results bringing new constrains on the processes responsible for a significant softening as a function of the speed of deformation and on the brittle-ductile transition. S. Preuss (ETH) presented numerical models reproducing the seismic cycles and the growth of the active faults, and E. Van Rijsingen (Roma Tre), new constraints on the role of the topography of the subduction interface on the triggering mega-earthquakes. Then, C. Marone (Penn State Univ.) presented a review of the constitutive laws for the various modes of faulting from the slow slip until the elastodynamic rupture, which launched the discussion on "the open questions on the rheology failures". This session ended with the presentation of C. Trepmann (Univ. München) on the record of seismic cycles in alpine mylonites.
The "applied rheology" session started with presentations by CREEP PhD students T. Loriaux (Bristol Univ.) and W. Zhou (Utrecht Univ.) on the use of seismic methods (seismic anisotropy and noise tomography) for monitoring hydrothermal and natural gas reservoirs and L. Ding (Mainz Univ.) on the rheology of Pyrex-type industrial glasses. Then, J. Urai (Aachen Univ.) presented a review on the interactions between deformation and fluids in rock salt and the CREEP PhD students C. Sinn (Utrecht Univ.) and P. Prasse (Bristol) new experimental constraints on the effect of the deformation on the permeability of halite and on the seismic anisotropy associated with the deformation of rocksalt in oil basins.
The workshop ended with an open session on a theme which had not been discussed in the context of the ITN CREEP : the interactions between melts and deformation. B. Kaus (Mainz Univ.) presented a review of the current progress and challenges in modeling magmatic systems from mantle to surface. W. Zhu (Maryland Univ.) Presented the latest advances in imaging of magma distribution in partially melted mantle rocks and the use of digital models to estimate permeability in these systems. Finally, Thielmann (BGI) focused on numerical modeling of the evolution of microstructure in bi-phased systems and the effect of this on mechanical properties. These presentations were complemented by a very animated poster session, held on the second evening, in which non-CREEP PhD students and post-docs presented their recent results in the themes covered by the ITN CREEP.