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Triggering instabilities in materials and geosystems

Triggering instabilities in materials and geosystems

Objective

Materials from the laboratory to geological scales respond to perturbations in a complex nonlinear fashion. In particular, the response to finite perturbations which causes failure (triggering) is an important, yet poorly understood, issue. Causes of failure may either be exogenous (precipitations, pore pressure, seismic waves, or in the materials context, mechanical perturbations) or endogenous (chemomechanical deterioration, creep deformation, microcracking and microplasticity).

The multiplicity of mechanisms makes it difficult to understand and forecast failure of materials, structures and devices, or the triggering of natural hazards such as landslides, snow avalanches and earthquakes. In either case one has to analyze the response of a complex material system, involving a wide range of scales in time and space. In particular, bridging the lengthscales is at the heart of understanding materials failure and implies a theory of size and scale effects.

To achieve this, methodologies from materials and earth sciences must be integrated into the more general perspective of complexity. In particular, we will combine the investigation of triggering mechanisms through the statistical analysis of catalogs and field measurements, with laboratory experiments, multiscale materials simulations and non-equilibrium statistical models and theories. This requires a transfer of knowledge across different disciplines which are traditionally separated.

Tools developed for complex systems will be applied to materials and geoscience problems, multiscale materials modeling will be adapted to geomaterials, and experimental data and field observations will be fed back to assess the performance of theoretical models. The project represents a joint European initiative for developing complex systems theory into an integrated methodological framework for the analysis of complex behavior in materials failure from the atomic and nanoscale up to the geotectonic.

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Coordinator

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Address

Piazzale Aldo Moro 7
Rome

Italy

Administrative Contact

Stefano ZAPPERI (Dr)

Participants (5)

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ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI GEOFISICA E VULCANOLOGIA

Italy

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

United Kingdom

UNIVERSITE JOSEPH FOURIER

France

EIDGENOESSISCHE FORSCHUNGSANSTALT WSL

Switzerland

AALTO-KORKEAKOULUSAATIO

Finland

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 43386

  • Start date

    1 January 2007

  • End date

    31 December 2009

Funded under:

FP6-POLICIES

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 184 527

  • EU contribution

    € 1 699 927

Coordinated by:

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE

Italy