'The behavoir of scaly fabrics' - EPSC 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Christie Rowe

Supervisor's Email: christie.rowe [at] mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: 514-451-2769

Supervisor's Website: http://eps.mcgill.ca/~crowe/

Supervisor's department: Earth and Planetary Sciences

Course number: EPSC 396 (Earth and Planetary Science)

Term: Fall 2013-2014

Project start date: Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Project end date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project title: The behavoir of scaly fabrics

Project description (50-100 words suggested): “Scaly fabrics” – common anastomosing shear surfaces which spontaneously develop in clay-rich fault zones, are very poorly understood.  Friction experiments aimed at understanding the slip behavior in faults of this style typically use ground-up clay gouge, thereby ignoring the role of structural fabrics in controlling rheology and fault geometry.  This project will use analog materials to explore the rheology and behavior of the characteristic geometry of “scaly fabrics”.  Specifically, we will explore the distribution of slip through a scaly fabrics network and explore the role of localization in controlling episodic vs. gradual slip behaviors

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade):The grade will be based 100% on the paper, which may be turned in at once or in sections:

  • 25% Geological background on scaly fabrics - occurrence, relationship to mineralogy, and what is currently known about their shear behavoir
  • 25% Experimental design and construction of apparatus, documentation of the mechanical aspects of the experiments.
  • 25% Qualitative observations resulting from experiments, including but not limited to:  grain-scale and shear-zone scale slip behavior, width, depth and particle size effects, particle orientation, dilation and compaction effects, etc. Quantitative observations where measurable. Full documentation of experiments including video (and possibly scanning topography) as appropriate.
  • 25% Discussion of experimental results and relation to scaly fabrics in geological shear zones. Implications for slip behavior, mechanics, width/slip distance relationships, particle size and deformability effects.

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves NEITHER animal subjects, nor human subjects, nor biohazardous substances, nor radioactive materials, nor handling chemicals, nor using lasers.