Short Course on: Microstructures and Physico-Chemical Properties of Earth and Planetary Materials

Transport properties in the Earth and Planets are deeply controlled by microstructural arrangement. Viscosity, permeability, porosity, electrical conductivity, seismic attenuation, chemical diffusion are influenced by grain size, shape preferred orientations, crystal preferred orientations and/or by a variety of microstructural heterogeneities on a dimension scale ranging from nanometers to meters or more. The microstructure of rocks and minerals records genetic processes testifying to incredible complexities in the formation of our planet. The unceasing game of strain and annealing processes in nature have led to an endless combination of the fabric observed in metals and ceramics.
In the framework of the education activites of the Petrology Group of the Italian Society of Mineralogy and Petrology and of the Marie Curie Research Training Network - c2c (crust to core), this short course will review the fundamentals of microstructure development moving from the principles in material science to applications in mineralogy, petrology and geophysics. Original contributions from participants are also welcome for inciting discussion on "hot topics" in microstructural analysis.