Rock Physics Laboratories

Current Projects

Rate- and State-Dependent Friction

Experiments are devised to determine the rate- and state-dependent friction laws using both rocks and transparent sliding surfaces.

Earthquake Nucleation

How do earthquakes start? Explore earthquake nucleation experiments on the 2-meter biaxial press.

Mineralogy of Creeping Faults

Why are some earthquake faults locked while others slowly creep? The mineralogy of the fault plays an important role in fault strength.

Earthquake Simulation in High-Velocity Rotary Shear Experiments

How do you design an experimental apparatus where rocks surfaces can slip at the speeds encountered during real earthquakes?

San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth (SAFOD)

A drillhole that crosses the San Andreas fault at 2.7 depth deep in the earth reveals minerals with unusual physical properties.

Melting of Slip Surface at High Pressure

Simulated earthquakes at very high pressures causes fault surfaces to melt and loose strength.