Welcome to Duke's Multiphysics Geomechanics Lab (MGLab), a group studying the mechanical response of geomaterials at extreme conditions.
Statement of Purpose. Human Civilization is facing the challenges of sustainability of water/energy resources, handling environmental concerns through safe disposal of energy waste (nuclear, CO2 storage etc), as well as safety of the urban areas with respect to natural hazards (earthquakes, landslides). Suggested solutions include: 1) accessing renewable energy resources -like geothermal- and also storing the waste and excess CO2 at depths where rocks are subject to extremely high conditions of pressure and temperature; 2) engineering solutions in permafrost areas, at conditions of extremely low temperatures; 3) colonizing Mars to tap into potential energy resources as well as store waste; 4) rethinking our urban design approaches, to include risk of liquefaction, sinkhole formation, landslides triggered by changes in degrees of saturation, fluid composition etc, as well as predict and arrest earthquakes. All these solutions include engineering solutions at extreme conditions of temperature, pressure, fluid composition, chemical reactions, and involve understanding their interaction and influence on the mechanical response of geomaterials at loadings that can span several time scales, from a few seconds to millions of years. However, the response of materials in any of these conditions is to-date not deeply understood, making the engineering design in such conditions a formidable challenge. Duke MGLab's purpose is to advance understanding of the volatile response of geomaterials at these extreme conditions, provide the necessary research tools to tackle these formidable challenges and train the next generation of engineers on these approaches.
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Cover image shows a natural example of the simultaneous development of boudinage and folding, the former occurring in the limbs of the folded layer. Image courtesy of Callan Bentley, taken from: Peters, M., M. Herwegh, M. K. Paesold, T. Poulet, K. Regenauer‐Lieb, and M. Veveakis (2016), Boudinage and folding as an energy instability in ductile deformation, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 121, 3996–4013, http://doi.org/10.1002/2016JB012801