Quakes in the Lab: Avalanche Dynamics in Scale Invariant Phenomena

Ramon planet latorre

Nationality Spanish

Year of selection 2011

Institution Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1

Country France

Risk Environment

Post-Doctoral Fellowship

2 years

120000 €

From Grain Avalanches to Earthquake Prediction

Will earthquake prediction ever become possible? Researchers are working on it! Statistical laws describe the occurrence of earthquakes well. For instance, the biggest earthquakes are the least frequent. Could this statement serve as a starting point to predict large earthquakes? This is one of the questions that Dr. Ramon Planet Latorre will investigate during his postdoctoral research, based on laboratory experiments. On Earth, earthquakes occur due to friction between moving tectonic plates.
To mimic this system at the laboratory scale, Ramon will use a novel experimental setup, investigating the shearing of a thin layer of grains. Shearing induces avalanches of grains, which follow laws similar to those of earthquakes. Ramon will study what influences the distribution of avalanche sizes and will try to detect precursors to large earthquakes.

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