The main research focus concerns the biogeochemistry of the critical zone and the water-soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, the reactive transport in saturated and unsaturated porous media, the chemo-mechanical coupling, the metallogeny and the processes of enrichment, thermodynamics and physics of silicate liquids and degassing processes, crustal rheology and the location of deformation on a geodynamic scale. Each GP (research team, ‘grand program’) is involved in various projects corresponding to scientific questions of fundamental to immediate importance and at the forefront of international research in the field.

The large research scope within ISTO unfolds its strength through overarching questions and scientific approach, i.e. (i) by defining the structure of objects, (ii) by unraveling the mechanisms and processes involved in the phenomena of interest, (iii) by quantifying the role played by fluids and rocks and the properties they exert; and (iv) by modeling processes and conditions in time and space. Our ambition is to reconstruct, to validate, to further, and to eventually predict processes at play in all spheres of the Earth.