The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems was established to integrate geochemistry, petrophysics, geophysics and numerical and thermodynamical modelling - to reach a new level of understanding of Earth dynamics and fluid cycle(s) through time.
Water is essential for human existence, indeed for life beginning. The deep circulation of water and other fluids lubricates the deep-seated dynamics that keep Earth geologically alive, and its surface habitable. Several oceans worth of water may be present inside Earth, and the exchange of water and other fluids between the surface and the deep interior plays a crucial role in most Earth systems, including the evolution of the surface and the hydrosphere/atmosphere/biosphere.
Until recently, a real understanding of the workings of Earths deep plumbing system (from the surface to 3,000 km depth) has been tantalisingly out of our reach. Now, rapid advances in geophysics are producing stunning new images of physical properties such as seismic velocity and electrical conductivity in the deep Earth, but interpretation of these images requires new kinds of data on deep-Earth materials, and especially on the effects of deep fluids and their circulation.
The research program is focussed around three key themes:
(1) The Early Earth - how did Earth get its water, and how did fluids play a role in the early dynamics of the planet and the emergence of life?
(2) The Earth Through Time - how have fluids played a role in the geodynamic evolution of the earth and secular variation in the earth's hydrosphere-biosphere-atmosphere-lithosphere-mantle system? How has mass and energy transfer through this system controlled the formation of mineral researouces? and
(3) The Earth Today - how do fluids play a role in the earth today, how does that effect our interpretations of remotely sensed images of the earth, and our understanding of its mineral, chemical and physical architecture?
CCFS brings together an international geoscience brains trust of the highest calibre to address these important questions. The CCFS is headquartered at Macquarie University, with CET as a major node.