Phil Skemer, Assistant
Matt Guiang, Undergraduate
Our research applies experimental
techniques to the study of deformation processes in natural and synthetic
rocks. Experimental rock mechanics is integral to Earth and Planetary
Science, providing an intermediary between direct observation and theoretical
predictions. Our group members are conducting a wide array of experiments
on materials ranging from olivine-rich mantle rocks to solute saturated
ice. The rock deformation lab has a variety of equipment for the synthesis,
deformation, and analysis of planetary materials.
We are looking
for new members. If you are interested in structural geology,
rock mechanics, or geodynamics, and enjoy working with your hands, please
contact Phil Skemer (pskemer<a>wustl.edu).
deformation of coarse grained harzburgite
We are currently
studying the process of phase mixing during deformation of olivine
/ pyroxene aggregates. The objective of these experiments is to
understand how shear localization is initiated.
of a new high-pressure torsion apparatus
am currently in the process of designing a new rock deformation
apparatus, based on existing RDA designs, which will facilitate
large-strain deformation of mantle materials at lithospheric and
of deformation history on the generation of lattice-preferred orientation
orientation is strongly influenced by the conditions of deformation
and the integrated strain history. We are conducting experiments
to quantify the amount of strain required to reset pre-existing
evolution in peridotite mylonites
ductile shear zones, contain a wealth of information on the physical
processes that accomodate localized deformation. An ongoing study
in the Josephine peridote has identified complex feedbacks between
microstructure and rheology.
record evidence of melting during seismogenic faulting. The presence
of pseudotachylites may have significant consequences for the subesquent
mechanical beahavior of a rock. Indeed, it is known from field observations
that psuedotachlites may be reativated as low strength ductile shear
zones. We are conducting a series of laboratory experiments to determine
when and how pseudotachylites are reactivated at high pressure and
temperature, to deform by brittle and plastic processes.
behavior of ice is strongly influenced by the presence of secondary
mineral phases. We are conducting experiments on creep of ice to
provide bases for comparison with observations from the Mars Phoenix
Lander and provide new constrains on glacier mechanics.