Premelting and phase changes in porous media; mechanics and physics of ice, glaciers and subglacial beds; gas hydrates and submarine slope stability; strength evolution along faults; pore-fluid interactions; deformation and failure of granular materials in seismic and surficial processes; dynamics of solidifying lava flows.

Links to: a biographical sketch, publications.

My research is directed towards understanding the fundamental interactions that govern a broad spectrum of natural processes. Much of this work centers on the fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and thermodynamics that control interactions between solids and fluids, especially near the melting transition. I am particularly interested in problems that span a range of length and time scales, often motivating the development of homogenized models to translate from the microscopic distances over which the controlling physical interactions operate, to the much larger scales at which their effects are observed. Current work is focused on solid-fluid interactions along faults during earthquakes and slow-slip events; the controls on glacier sliding that result in sediment entrainment and landscape evolution; the development of gas hydrate anomalies and their implications for submarine slope stability and pockmark formation; multiphase shear and transitions between distributed (viscous) and localized (frictional) deformation mechanisms, with application to fault mechanics and solidifying lava flows; segregation and transport processes during solidification and melting in porous media on Earth and Mars; and passive strategies for thermal storage and timed heat release in the built environment (in collaboration with Alexandra Rempel).

Current Research Group Members:




Biographical sketch: