Bureau of Economic Geology Senior Research Scientist Stephen E. Laubach recently presented the keynote address at the Geological Society of America’s Penrose Conference that focused on progressive brittle failure in rocks. Dr. Laubach’s well-received keynote was on the “Role of Chemistry in Fracture Pattern Development” and was related to his recent paper, “The Role of Chemistry in Fracture Pattern Development and Opportunities to Advance Interpretations of Geological Materials” published in Reviews of Geophysics.
The interesting conference hosted a unique audience of roughly 80 participants. The progressive brittle failure that the audience was interested in has to do with modern, contemporary fracture and how it pertains to hazards (i.e, rockfall, etc.) and landscape evolution. This field of geomorphology and civil engineering is undergoing a period of rapid development influenced by ideas of reaction-enhanced fracture propagation.
“There seem to be many opportunities here for new directions (and funding) for the Bureau inasmuch as there are considerable societally important issues at play that our research, expertise, and ideas can contribute to,” commented Laubach. He continued, “There also may be grounds for collaboration across the Jackson School as some of our researchers are in this community.”
For more information about this emerging area of research and the Bureau’s fracture community, contact Steve Laubach.