The ALERT Summerschool (Olek Zienkiewicz Course) 2013 entitled Geology and Mechanics will be organized by Prof. Dimitrios Kolymbas and held in Innsbruck, 16-20 September 2013.
A short description of the topic by Dimitrios Kolymbas:
Viewed from the aspect of Continuum Mechanics, Geology is the most fascinating exhibition of large deformations of solid materials and the accompanying pattern formation. The latter is dominated by the phenomenon of localisation of deformation, think of shearbands and faults. The scale invariance of the relevant deformation mechanisms implies that the same phenomena are observed in a large range of scales. What is observed and studied by Soil Mechanics in the small is also observed by geologist in large scales. It proves (cf. the law of Byerlee) that sand is an appropriate solid material to model large deformations of geological strata. This fact is scientifically exploited by the so-called sandbox models, where geological folding and faulting is modeled in the laboratory with sand. The trapdoor problem, a widespread benchmark of soil mechanics, exhibits exactly the same patterns as the formation of grabens and ring structures in the lithosphere. An important feature in Soil Mechanics is the fact that fragmentation of sand bodies is always manifested by the formation of rigid blocks that slide relative to each other. The analogon in large scale is the motion of continents relative to each other with the accompanied friction and earthquakes. Also vulcanism has a counterpart in the small scale of Soil Mechanics, the so-called sand-volcanos.
The above stated effects are highly interesting and can cross-fertilize scientists from various disciplines.
It is a very interesting tropic to be discussed mainly as geologists have different “souls” from structural geologists to engineering geologists that hardly (at least in Italy) understand each other. One of my PhD or post-doc students or even me will participate.