I began performing granular physics research during my Ph.D. where I focused on using rock physics models to understand the in-situ properties of sand. More and more, I am fascinated by the topic, especially because there is so much to learn about how microscale features organize to create emergent properties that geophysicist typically measure (e.g., seismic velocities). With developments in discrete element models, high-performance computing, and synchrotron-based x-ray microtomography, I believe that granular media physics studies will continue to be an exciting area of research for decades to come.
The Effects of 180 Years of Aging on the Physical and Seismic Properties of Sands
On the use of rock physics models for studying the critical zone
Coordination Numbers of Beach Sands
Earthquake Effects on Sediments
The aim of this project is to provide the first 3-dimensional assessment of the effects of earthquakes on the microstructural properties (e.g., grain contact number and area, grain orientation and, pore shape) of unconsolidated sediments. I am doing this based on the analysis of X-ray microtomography images taken before and after exposing sediments to lab simulated earthquakes. Quantifying these properties changes are important for understanding earthquake site response (including repeat liquefaction) and earthquakes induced changes to groundwater flow and storage. This work will also assess the consequences of earthquake-induced changes to sands. An example of the initial results of this study is shown in figure 1 below.