RheoMan: a five-year, ERC-funded (Advanced Grant), project to model the rheology of the Earth's mantle

Feb 2, 2018 Philippe Carrez awarded during the fisrt call of the I-SITE Université Lille Nord-Europe General

Philippe Carrez is laureate of the first call for « SUSTAIN » project of the  i-site ULNE, which aims to strengthen excellence of the research fields of the university. The LASCO (Large Atomistic simulations of Climb in Oxide ) project, funded for the next 36 months, includes an open PhD position (More informations to come in the following weeks).


Labeled I-SITE in February 2017 as part of the second wave of the French “Investissements d'Avenir” Program, the Université Lille Nord-Europe (ULNE) project brings together 14 founding members* with the aim of transforming the landscape of research and training in the French region of “Hauts-de-France”, by sustaining and expanding its excellence.

Health, Planet and Digital World: the project is structured around three interconnected themes covering a broad disciplinary spectrum. Internationalization and valorization are also at the heart of its priorities.


Summary of the project :

Earth  mantle flow involves rock deformation through a so-called creep mechanism, characterized by high temperature and low stress deformation conditions. It is well known that creep of material may be attributable to a number of different deformation processes. Creep may involve both glide and climb of dislocations. Whereas glide has attracted a lot of attention, climb remains poorly constrained and controversial. Understanding the creep behaviour requires a proper description of dislocation climb process (i.e. the emission or the absorption of point defects that allows a row of the dislocation line to literally climb out of its glide plane). The goal of the LASCO project is therefore to provide a new understanding of climb processes responsible for flow in the Earth’s mantle. Based on the computation of the atomic mechanism of dislocation climb in magnesium  oxide MgO, the second most abundant phase of the lower mantle, a major achievement of the project will be to deliver for the first time quantitative estimates of creep rates in MgO and to provide a new vision of the challenging question of the rheology of Earth mantle.