California Institute of Technology
Last Reviewed: 04/23/2019
Mission: To advance the understanding of geomaterials failure in the presence of fluids for industry applications and geohazard mitigation by leveraging cutting-edge modeling, computing, experimental, geophysical, and remote-sensing research
As modern societies grow in size and complexity, needs for energy are increasing, and natural hazards, such as earthquakes and landslides, threaten the economic stability of urban centers, the structural integrity and smooth operation of their interconnected infrastructure systems, and the safety of the public. The growth and prosperity of economies centered around the extraction of fossil fuels, like the U.S., depends on (i) the effective and efficient extraction of oil/gas and geothermal resources; (ii) diminishing the impact of energy production and consumption on climate through CO2 sequestration, utilization and storage; and (iii) mitigating the risk posed by natural hazards, such as earthquakes and landslides, to the infrastructure systems that, in part, transmit and distribute energy resources to the public. Furthermore, with the observed increase of induced seismicity, it is important to develop methodologies to characterize the secondary effects of oil/gas extraction or geothermal heat production, quantify the consequences of these effects on infrastructure adjacent to the extraction sites, and develop early warning systems and protection strategies to optimally balance energy production and public safety.
These challenges all call for improved understanding of how geomaterials fail when subjected to hydro-mechanical effects, such as fluid pumping in or out of the subsurface or slope instabilities induced by ground shaking, rainfall, or combinations of the above.
The Center for Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (GMG) enables a synergetic research effort in that direction. The Center gathers stake-holders from the industry and government agencies a well as scientists and engineers at Caltech with diverse expertise spanning geophysics, geology, remote sensing, computational mechanics, fracture mechanics, and applied mathematics.
Ground Failure and Infrastructure
Better estimation of near-surface strain due to seismic or aseismic faulting and ground failure hazard for distributed infrastructures.
Fluids in the Subsurface
Determination of pore pressure distribution, fluid pathways, and fluid flow due to pumping into or out of the subsurface. Forecasting and control of the ground deformation.
Understanding the conditions that lead to earthquakes vs. slow deformation. Better cost-effective monitoring and forecasting of seismicity with quantification of uncertainties. Traffic Light system
Optimization and control of fracture geometry and sweep, effective utilization of proppants through modeling and cost-effective monitoring.
GMG Spring Meeting in Pasadena, CA
May 14-15, 2019
If you plan on attending this event, please make sure to register.
IUCRC: Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (GMG) IAB Meeting
5/14 - 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM - GMG IUCRC Meeting
5/15 - 8:00 am - noon (open to current IAB members)
Location: California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California, Pasadena, CA 91125.
This is an annual meeting of the industry advisory board to review current research projects. Visitors interested in membership are welcome if they are willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The GMG IAB meeting is open to current and prospective center members, participating faculty, and their students.