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Project design


Water is arguably the single most important volatile phase in the Earth’s continental crust. Fluids transfer and concentrate elements, enhance chemical reactions and facilitate deformation. In addition, through impact on porosity and permeability, fluids facilitate mass movement of fluids and dissolved substances. The transported elements may eventually concentrate in economically important reserves. Finding and responsibly exploiting such reserves depends on understanding how, when and where fluids flow from the scale of micrometres to kilometres. Dwindling or geopolitically restricted supply and increasing demand for resources accentuate the urgency for fluid transport models based on more comprehensive data and ground truthing. 

The overall scientific aim of FluidNET is to contribute to the underpinning data, development and testing of new nano- to crustal-scale models of crustal fluid flux by constraining the time and length scales, mechanisms and provenance of crustal fluid fluxes at different crustal levels. To truly advance research on fluid fluxes, and thus impact society and in particular industry, a new generation of skilled personnel is required, who can work with such complex systems, and make interpretations and predictions based on large and incomplete datasets. FluidNET will provide a stimulating cross-disciplinary environment for the training of a cohort of early stage researchers, ESRs, in skills that are essential across the resources sector. 

Our training programme will challenge the ESRs with societally relevant questions, and will encourage them to ‘think outside the box’. They will learn to apply field observations, innovative analytical techniques and creative modelling approaches; to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences; and to engage effectively with end-users of their research. Such skills will meet future employment demand and will enhance Europe’s capacity to provide innovative solutions to critical resource requirements.

FluidNET’s ojectives are

  1. to link micro-analytical and geochemical modelling results to macro-scale geo-mechanical models that provide insight into the physical development of crustal-scale veining networks. Micro- to crustal-scale fluid flow models provide testable insights into the complex links between fluid fluxes, transport length- and time scales and formation of economically important resources. A new generation of validated models will provide a set of general predictive rules using chemical and physical properties of the rock pile (e.g. whole rock chemistry, permeability, grain size, layering), chemical and pressure – temperature gradients, derived from the scientific questions that form the basis of the FluidNET approach.
  2. to provide training for 12 early stage researchers (ESRs) in state of the art science concepts, analytical approaches and communication and public engagement skills; in building awareness of career opportunities beyond academia and opportunities to build individual scientific networks (in close collaboration with our non-academic sector partners); and in a broad range of approaches to complex issues involving scientific, technological, and societal challenges.
  3. to promote and develop the visibility of European research in the metal resource sector such that the results of the new EU Green Deal initiative will experience significant growth in the coming years. Visibility will be promoted by forging an EU based platform that will provide training, e.g. summer-schools and webinars, and serve as a knowledge base through links with data base platforms such as EPOS. 


Characteristic of MSCA-ITN research and training is the strong interaction between projects and extensive opportunities for secondments by network partners. The network offers a comprehensive program of scientific and skills training opportunities, fieldwork and a summer school on location in the Pyrenees.