UNIVERSITY OSLO
DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCES and PHYSICS OF GEOLOGICAL PROCESSES
KAREN MAIR
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karen.mair at fys . uio . no

Researching the mechanics of earthquakes and faulting
My research involves laboratory experiments, field observations and numerical modelling to investigate the physics of faults and earthquakes.

Fieldwork
Deformation bands are small offset faults typically occurring in clean high porosity sandstone. They can dramatically reduce porosity and permeability as well as influencing future deformation. Some spectacular examples are seen in Utah, USA. (Field photos courtesy of Rich Schultz, University of Nevada at Reno).

Laboratory experiments
High resolution laboratory friction experiments can help us better understand the mechanical and microstructural evolution of faults. I have worked with Chris Marone's group at Penn State University Rock Mechanics Laboratoy, deforming natural and idealised granular material to investigate the micromechanical processes that control the friction of faults.

Numerical modelling
Numerical modelling of faults give us an opportunity to watch dynamic microscale interactions that may be difficult to observe directly in the field or during laboratory experiments. I currently collaborate with Steffen Abe (RWTH Aachen University) and Jim Hazzard (RocScience Ltd) on 3D discrete particle simulations of sheared granular fault zones.