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Geophysics Department Seminar: The Role of Multi-phase Instabilities in Nature's Extremes

Date and Time: 
October 19, 2017 -
12:00pm to 1:15pm
Mitchell 350/372
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Geophysics Department

Speaker: Jenny Suckale

How fast can ice sheets disintegrate? When do induced earthquakes pose unacceptable risk? Why do volcanoes erupt? And how can we limit the destructive reach of tsunamis? The common denominator of what at first glance might seem like disparate systems is multiphase flow. The dynamic interactions between multiple solid and fluid phases − such as ice and meltwater, rock and wastewater, magmatic mush and gas, sediment and water − give rise to drastic nonlinearities that govern abrupt change. This talk explores the role of multiphase instabilities in the onset and evolution of extreme events for different natural settings including Antarctica, induced seismicity, basaltic volcanoes, and tsunami runup. I focus specifically on why it is beneficial to study these problems within a common multiphase and multiscale framework.