Mini Lecture of GRK 2423 FRASCAL, Friday 12th of March 2021

Fractures, faults and roughening anti-cracks: pattern formation in Geology, Daniel Koehn

Friday, 12. März 2021, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm

Problems related to fracturing can be found all across geological systems, from the atomic to micro-scale all the way to plate-scale fracture problems. Geological systems are extremely noisy, they are often multi-component systems, have seen complex history, are mostly under stress and form patterns far from equilibrium being in a constant self-organized critical state. Here I will give a (non-comprehensive) overview of some fracture-related and associated geological problems from “simple” fracture problems of variable materials through hydro-mechanical interactions and reactive systems. The afternoon of the seminar will focus on anti-cracks and dynamic roughening as well as roughness scaling and stress inversion, and will progress to large-scale rift tectonics including plate rotation and surface uplift. We will see multiple field-examples of the related structures, discuss analytical approaches, numerical simulations and some experimental approaches to understand their development and discuss pattern formation and associated dynamic scaling laws. It would be nice to end with a discussion on approaches, methods and similarities/differences across disciplines as well as opportunities for the future.

If you are interested in attending, please send a short email to to receive the Zoom link to the lecture.

Preliminary Agenda:

9:00     Welcome and introduction to geological “fracture” problems:

pattern formation and scaling from atoms to tectonic plates.

9:30     Fracture problems in geology: geometry, spacing, modes, history, instabilities, visco-elasto-plastic systems and healing.

10:45   The hydro-fracture problem, hydro-mechanical interactions and reactive compaction instabilities.

12:15   Lunch break

13:15   Anti-cracks: crunching, dissolution instabilities and dynamic roughening under stress.

14:45   Large-scale tectonic problems: rotating and spinning micro-plates, capturing rifts and pop-up mountains.

Discussion and outlook