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Laura Pyrak-Nolte, Purdue University- The Centrality of Fracture Geometry

Thursday, Mar 11, 2021 12:00 PM
Where: Passcode: 083990
General Public
Geophysics Department

Laura Pyrak-Nolte

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University

The Centrality of Fracture Geometry                                                    

Many geodynamical processes disturb the Earth’s crust and alter the connectivity, permeability and strength of mechanical discontinuities such as micro-cracks, fractures, joints and faults. The key link among fracture properties is the deformed fracture topology that results from the contact of two rough surfaces under stress. In this presentation, the centrality of fracture geometry is examined through three topics: (1) identification of a geophysical precursor for a system transitioning from meta-stability to unstable behavior with specific focus on crack nucleation, propagation and coalescence; (2) understanding the role of depositional layers and mineral fabric on tensile crack formation and geometry; and (3) the impact of fracture orientation on mineral precipitation within a fracture. The results from these studies advance current understanding of which microscopic properties of evolving fracture systems are most useful for predicting macroscopic behavior and the best imaging modalities to use to identify the seismic signatures of time evolving fracture properties.

Dr. Laura J. Pyrak-Nolte is a Distinguished Professor of Physics & Astronomy, in the College of Science, at Purdue University. She holds courtesy appointments in the Lyle School of Civil Engineering and in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, also in the College of Science. Currently she is the President of the International Society for Porous Media, and Vice-President for North America for the International Society of Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. Her interests include applied geophysics, experimental and theoretical seismic wave propagation, laboratory rock mechanics, micro-fluidics, particle swarms, and fluid flow through Earth materials. Passcode:  083990

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