Professor Suzanne O'Reilly is Professor of Geology, a Macquarie University Distinguished Professor, and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems. Starting her career as a geologist/geochemist with a BSc (Hons) and PhD from Sydney University, she became driven to be able to map the nature and distribution of the deep rocks hidden beneath our feet in the vast space of inner Earth.
Small samples of deep rocks are brought to the surface by some volcanoes originating at depths of 250–100 km. Large samples are found tectonically forced on to the surface in regions where tectonic pates collide (e.g., Tibet, South America, New Guinea). Using geophysics we can probe the deep Earth’s physical properties and integrate these with geochemical information to provide a window into the geology of the inaccessible deep Earth. As all the mineral resources our society uses ultimately come from Earth’s interior, such knowledge provides a new global understanding of Earth’s structure to help guide mineral exploration.