Volatiles, Geodynamics & Solid Earth Controls on the Habitable Planet
Announcement of Opportunity
Closing date: 16:00 on 15 January 2014
Update 12 December 2013: The Facilities section of the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) has been updated. Anyone planning to apply to this call should ensure they refer to the updated AO when formulating their proposal.
Update 31 October 2013: The studentship section of the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) has been updated. Anyone planning to apply to this call should ensure they refer to the updated AO when formulating their proposal.
NERC invites proposals to the new research programme Volatiles, Geodynamics & Solid Earth Controls on the Habitable Planet. This call is for three consortium projects of up to £2·25m each (80% FEC). Projects should be for up to five years and must start by 1 July 2014.
The principal goal of the programme is to understand the dynamic role of mantle volatiles (water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfur, halogens and noble gases) in mediating fundamental Earth processes that affect surface habitability. These include mantle convection, plate tectonics, mantle melting and volcanism, which all control the exchange of volatiles between the Earth's deep interior and the surface.
Specifically, the programme will aim to define and understand the key mantle reservoirs and their temporal chemical and physical evolution; and focus on the volatile feedbacks on mantle behaviour through time to establish the controls on the volatile flows and budgets into and out of the mantle.
The core theme of the dynamics of volatile cycling is critically linked to three sub-themes - rheology, reservoirs and recycling - by different Earth science disciplines that together provide the fundamental information needed to answer three key questions:
Initial conditions: What was the deep Earth's primordial volatile content, and how did this control the dynamics and fluxes into and out of the early mantle?
Feedback: What are the feedbacks between volatile fluxes and mantle convection through time?
Reservoir evolution / flux: How does exchange between Earth's surface and the interior affect the volatile composition of mantle and surface reservoirs through time?
These three questions are interlinked, and addressing them will require a coordinated collaborative and interdisciplinary approach. Required expertise includes geochemistry, geodynamics, geophysics, mineral physics, petrology and volcanology. It is expected that the split of available funds across questions 1, 2 and 3 will be in the order of £1·5m, £2·25m and £3m respectively.
Full details of the call can be found in the Announcement of Opportunity document below. Applicants are advised to read this thoroughly before applying.
This Announcement of Opportunity should be read in conjunction with the scoping study.