The study of the complex processes that govern the Earth requires the analysis of physical and chemical processes evolving in a wide range of scales both in space and time: from the picosecond to the geological times, from the atomic distances to the continental dimensions. This multi-scale nature of the Earth’s processes is reflected in the vast diversity of methods and instruments employed in Earth science laboratories to collect data and observations. Experimental research performed in these laboratories is crucial to the understanding of Earth dynamics and the causative processes determining geohazards and the safe exploitation of geo-resources.
The Thematic Core Services (TCS) Multi-scale Laboratories (MSL) will, for the first time, coordinate and harmonize laboratory data at all relevant scales. The MSL community will have access to over sixty laboratories affiliated with eleven institutes in eight European countries. Among them are world-class experimental apparatus, such as electron microscopes, deformation testing machines and paleomagnetic measurements, divided into four sub-domains of the solid Earth Sciences:
- Analogue modeling of geologic processes, that allow researchers to model the tectonic processes and analyse the properties of materials, among others;
- Rock and melt physical properties, laboratories that facilitate research on rock, fault, and volcanic ash properties, and more;
- Paleomagnetic and magnetic data, infrastructures that provide records of the strength and polarity reversals of the Earth's magnetic field, among other applications;
- Geochemical data, which facilitate the study of elements and minerals’ composition, and the study of the age of rocks.
Data produced in these laboratories, such as information on volcanic eruptions, rock properties, mining operations, and others, will be available to all Earth scientists, industry, educators, students and society in a usable form.
Ultimately, the TCS Multi-scale laboratories will help create a coherent and collaborative network of European solid Earth science laboratories. Besides, the TCS Multi-scale laboratories will make available, through the EPOS platform, data, products, and software from several types of laboratory infrastructures while offering trans-national access to the newest and most advanced solid Earth laboratory facilities in Europe.