Laboratory for Applied Experimental Geophysics Department of Physics 

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Research Related to Synthetic and Natural Fractures

Background: All rocks contain mechanical discontinuities on many length scales. These discontinuities, such as grain contacts, cracks, fractures, or joints, are sources of anisotropy and inhomogeneity. They influence and control the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of a rock mass. The geometries of the voids and fracture networks control the transport of water, contaminants, gas, or oil through a fractured rock mass. Fractures and cracks are often planes of mechanical weakness and instability, and determine the success or failure of engineering structures built in or on a fractured rock mass. The research areas listed below have the common aim of quantitatively establishing the links among the mechanical, hydraulic, and seismic properties of these discontinuities.

Current Research Group

Professor Laura J. Pyrak-Nolte
Purdue University
Department of Physics
525 Northwestern Avenue
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2036 USA
Telephone: 765 494 3027
Fax: 765 494 0706

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