CORDIS - EU research results

Fluids driving the evolution of the continental crust: influence of pathway networks, fluxes, and time scales.

Project description

Going with the flow and following it where it may lead

Earth's crust is the outermost layer of our planet. Consisting of rocks and minerals, it can be divided into the thinner oceanic crust and the much older and thicker continental crust, of which the continents and continental shelves are made. Fluids play a critical role in the evolution of the crust, modulating processes including the capture and release of greenhouse gases and the redistribution of elements that form our valuable mineral resources and hydrocarbon deposits. Better understanding of the factors governing continental fluid fluxes on multiple time and distance scales will support effective and responsible access to dwindling raw materials that promote innovation. The EU-funded FluidNET project has set out to do just that, developing new models from the nano- to the continental scale while training a new generation of researchers to take the lead.


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
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.


Net EU contribution
€ 743 514,31
1081 HV Amsterdam

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 743 514,31

Participants (7)