Steven D. Glaser
Through carefully controlled experiments, fundamental mechanisms of fault rupture initiation are being studied with a level of detail unimaginable in the field. This is made possible by sensors designed in the Glaser lab. These devices allow accurate measurement of displacements as small as 1 pm, over a wide frequency band; no other displacement sensor can match this performance. Current work includes scaling effects of near-fault measurement on perceived source kinematics, localized precursors to rupture, and nano-friction.
It is estimated that seasonal snow cover is responsible for 80% or more of annual water supplies in California. Stewardship of the state’s valuable water supply requires understanding of the mountain hydrology system from the first snowfall to the water in your tap. We are operating a 60-node wireless sensor network, including more than 280 sensors, near Shaver Lake, CA (believed to be the largestWSN for eco-monitoring in the world), allowing investigation of the effects of local-scale phenomena on large-scale mountain hydrology, something which is unfeasible without the WSN.
Clean Energy From Hot Dry Rock
One solution to mining the earth’s geothermal energy is to engineer our own production fields. Such enhanced geothermal systems entail drilling at least two wells, one to pump down cold water, and others to pump up superheated water. We are starting an experimental journey see if using supercritical CO2 as the circulating fluid instead of water will increase efficiencies by up to a factor of 3. Our custom equipment permits a fluid operating point of 200°C at 400 bar, flowing at 400 ml/min