Monday, March 05, 2012


I'm looking for suggestions. We've got this great high-speed camera in our department and I'm looking for geological topics that would benefit from a high-speed analysis. I can always smash minerals and I've got some p and s-waves traveling through a slinky, but what other suggestions might all of you in web-land have?


  1. I don't know if you could put together a series of rock failure experiments under different types of stresses - perhaps a core or cut cube of rock in a vice of some sort to demonstrate failure under compressional stresses - not sure how best to illustrate shear and tensional stresses. The hammer experiments are nice, but only simulate rather unusual (non-anthropogenic) geologic processes.

    Other than rock failure, I'm hard pressed to think of many geologic processes that happen on the time scale of your camera's captures. Maybe slope failure in sediment associated with changing the angle of repose or fluid pressures?

    Or you could capture a quarry blast... :-)

  2. "Quarry Blast" sounds like a great idea...

    I like the idea of some kind of rock failure, but I wonder if the speed of failure propagation is beyond even this camera's abilities.

  3. What about something similar to John Valley's old standby...the liquid N2 volcano? You'd probably want to scale down the size (so as not to ruin said high-speed camera), and it'd be cool to have a clear (and durable of course) container so you can capture what's happening leading up to the explosion...plexiglass perhaps?