During the past year, on April 1, 1996, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut. During the first ten years of its history, the Institute has been built up with the aim of performing research into the structure, composition and dynamics of the Earth's interior through experimental studies of Earth materials at high pressures and temperatures. The extent of our success in this endeavour can be judged from the details of ongoing research projects and publication lists contained in this Annual Report. Because of the importance of our research for the broader scientific community, a significant number of papers have been published in international interdisciplinary journals such as Nature and Science and in journals covering related disciplines.
As in previous years, results of a wide variety of research projects are presented in this Annual Report. Some of these projects are concerned with fundamental properties of materials at high pressure - for example, the in-situ determination of the critical curve in the system albite-H2O and the identification and characterisation of five-fold coordinated silicon in a high-pressure phase of CaSi2O5. Some projects have only become possible through new methodological developments. For example, it is now possible to deform high-pressure phases of the Earth's mantle to high strains within their pressure-temperature stability fields using the multianvil apparatus - in the future this development will provide new estimates of the rheology of the mantle as well as helping to interpret the causes of seismic anisotropy.
There are two indications from the past year that the fields of experimental mineralogy, geochemistry and geophysics are thriving. Firstly, the Bayerisches Geoinstitut hosted the Sixth International Symposium for Experimental Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry, in April 1996. The number of participating scientists was 270, which represents an increase of about 30% compared with the previous meeting of this series which was held in London in 1994. The participants included leading scientists from countries such as USA, Japan and Australia, as well as many of the European countries. Secondly, 22 scientists from European countries made short-duration visits to the Bayerisches Geoinstitut during 1996 to perform scientific research using the experimental facilities of the institute (in particular the high-pressure laboratories). These visits were funded by the European Union through the "Human Capital and Mobility - Access to Large Scale Facilities" Programme. It is notable that the demand for access to the facilities of the Bayerisches Geoinstitut from visiting scientists has become much greater than expected. During the 12-month period 1/4/95 to 31/3/96, for example, the institute provided 560 man-days of access time, compared with 320 man-days which the European Union expected us to provide.
During 1996, Professor Stephen Mackwell (Pennsylvania State University) accepted the Professorship in Experimental Geophysics of the Solid Earth at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut and he will take up this position on January 1, 1998. As a result of this exciting development, we expect research activities in fields such as rheology to expand significantly in the coming years.
As in previous years, and also on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank the Free State of Bavaria as represented by the Staatsministerium für Kultus, Unterricht, Wissenschaft und Kunst as well as the Kommission für Geowissenschaftliche Hochdruckforschung for their continuing support and strong commitment to the Bayerisches Geoinstitut. We also gratefully acknowledge generous support from external funding agencies, in particular the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the European Union, and the German Science Foundation, which have also contributed greatly to the development and success of the Institute.
|Bayreuth, January 1997||
David C. Rubie