This report summarises the activities of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems since its start in mid 2011, in accordance with ARC requirements. Activities include research, technology development, industry interaction, international links and research training.
The overarching goal of CCFS is to understand Earth's internal dynamics, evolution and fluid cycles from core to crust. CCFS multiplies the capabilities of three national centres of research excellence in Earth and Planetary Sciences: Macquarie University (Administering Institution), Curtin University and the University of Western Australia (Collaborating Institutions). The Geological Survey of Western Australia is a Partner Institution and researchers from Monash University and the University of New South Wales are formally affiliated.
Five overseas nodes are led by Partner Investigators in France (University of Montpellier), China (Institute of Geology and Geophysics, China Academy of Sciences), Canada (University of Saskatchewan), Germany (Bayreuth University) and the USA (University of Maryland). They are contributing resources and provide access to a wide variety of complementary expertise and instrumental capabilities.
CCFS builds on pre-existing centres within the Administering and Collaborating Institutions: the GEMOC Key Centre (http://www.gemoc.mq.edu.au/) at Macquarie University retains its structure and is fully incorporated within CCFS to capitalise on its global recognition; the research and strategic activities of Centre for Exploration Targeting (http://www.cet.edu.au/) at the University of Western Australia lie within CCFS; and the activities of TiGeR (http://tiger.curtin.edu.au/) at Curtin University are also aligned with CCFS.
2011 was our founding year, and CCFS was formally opened in October 2011 by Professor Margaret Sheil (CEO of ARC at the time). Contractual finalisation occupied the first half of 2011 so that many projects had a delayed start; full activities of CCFS will commence in 2012, although the Research Highlights in this report evidence a high level of activity with frontline scientific outcomes.
Research projects are designed to address particular defined aspects of three Themes within the funding framework provided: the Early Earth, its formation and fluid budget; Earth's Evolution (fluids in crustal and mantle tectonics; recycling of fluids into the deep mantle); and Earth Today (dynamics, decoding geophysical imaging, and Earth resources). A targeted synergy across the three nodes uses the combined expertise covering geophysics, geodynamics, experimental petrology, mineral physics, geochemistry, mineral systems, paleomagnetics and numerical modelling. In particular, the integration of paleomagnetic and seismic data with 3D fluid-dynamic models and geochemical studies is a new approach to understanding how Earth's dynamics evolved and what drives them.
Recruitment and mentoring of early- and mid-career researchers is a high-level goal in CCFS: the foundation early-career researchers and the Future Fellows are highlighted in the Personnel section.
We look forward to an exciting year of new discoveries that will expand our horizons even further and bring another level of challenging scientific endeavours, with new goals and pathways to better understand the structure, composition and dynamics of our home planet, Earth, and its geological evolution "from core to crust" over 4.5 billion years.
Profesor S.Y. O'Reilly
Simon Wilde, T. Cambell McCuaig, Sue O'Reilly, Margaret Sheil, Ian Gould, Clinton Foster and Paul Heithersay at the CCFS launch held at Macquarie University in October 2011 (photographed by Effy Alexakis, photowrite).