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CORDIS Express: Geology - an exploration of our earth

This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at geology-related news and the FP7 projects already underway that are exploring the Earth’s processes, materials and history.

When you think of ‘geology’, grey rocks probably spring to mind. However, geology is much more expansive and exciting than simply investigating gravel and pebbles. It is the study of the Earth’s processes, materials and history, and it supports our lifestyles in many unexpected ways – just think, the metal in your smartphone came from a mine that may have been located and planned by a geologist. From construction and insurance to energy and water, the work of geologists supports a range of industries and the provision of basic resources that underpin our daily lives. Geologists study earth processes such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions which, apart from being crucial for our security, is hugely important for planning, construction and even insurance. They also study and locate earth materials that we use every day, such as oil, ground water and metals from mines. Geology is also crucial to understanding our climate and how it is changing - many geologists are working to learn about the past climates of earth and how they have changed across time. This historical geology news information is valuable to understand how our current climate is changing and what the results might be. As our population and consumption needs soar, the Earth’s resources are squeezed more tightly, and the work of geologists becomes ever more crucial. The Horizon 2020 programme is mindful of this and places emphasis on the supply of critical raw materials, including mineral resources, for European industry. The raw materials part of Societal Challenge 5: ‘Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials’, aims to help tap the full potential of primary and secondary raw materials and to boost the innovation capacity of the EU raw materials sector. The European Federation of Geologists has welcomed the EU’s ‘unprecedented interest in raw materials and a broad range of associated geoscience-related topics’. Geologists are also implicated in the programme’s security section which focuses on increasing Europe's resilience to crises and disasters (such as earthquakes, floods, etc.) and enhancing standardisation and interoperability of systems, including for emergency purposes. This edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at geology-related news and a selection of the FP7 projects already underway that are exploring the Earth’s processes, materials and history. - A global team working on an earthquake early-warning system for Europe - Mineral variability in sub-marine geysers - Water in the Earth's lithosphere and its bearing on geophysical properties - Volcanic disaster risk management - Tectonic secrets to help avert disaster - Pan-European seismic hazard assessments - Predicting and managing volcanic unrest - New geologic time scale yardstick - Trending science: Unexpected eruption at Mount Ontake

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