Progressive Rock Failure

5 – 9 June 2017

Recent News

Programme now online

With the majority of abstracts now received and reviewed, we’re happy to announce a tentative programme for Ascona next month. With more than 40 top-level...
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Numerical modelling workshop confirmed

Due to popular demand, we're now happy to offer a full day numerical modelling workshop for Friday the 9/6.

Topics will include a hands-on introduction to best-practice methods for practical geotechnical applications, as well as advanced phenomenological approaches incorporating physical aspects of time-dependent fracture propagation.

More details


The situation

Geological materials change their strength properties through time, which has significant implications for the stability of natural and artificial slopes, surface or subsurface excavations, and deep boreholes used for energy production.

The challenge

While some of these mechanical property changes lead to slow phenomena like creep, consolidation and swelling, others lead to rapid and hazardous deformations and failure of geological materials. Time-dependent aspects of weakening and failure in natural systems are, however, difficult to study as internal damage is not visible to the naked eye, and the underlying processes can last from several seconds to many thousands of years.

Conference goal

Better understanding and predicting these processes represents a great challenge to those involved in the preservation of existing structures, future development of critical transport and energy infrastructure, and the assessment of natural hazards in response to a changing climate. By bringing together participants from diverse backgrounds, this event will provide an exciting opportunity to address processes controlling the degradation and failure of brittle rock across an exceptional range of spatial and temporal scales.

Conference setting


The view across Lake Maggiore from the Conference Centre of Monte Verità

 PRF 2017 will be financially supported and hosted by the ETH, and Congressi Stefano Franscini at Monte Verità, which offers accommodation, restaurant facilities, and world-class conference facilities on a unique site overlooking Lake Maggiore on the Swiss / Italian border. Click here to find out more about this spectacular location.


Organizing committee

International advisory board

Mauri McSaveney

GNS Science

Prof. Philip Meredith

University College London

Prof. Heinz Konietzky

TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Prof. Mark Diederichs

Queen's University

Prof. Eduardo Alonso

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Pre-registration now open

PRF 2017 registration
280.00 CHF

Four-day conference participation

Mid-conference excursion

Conference dinner at local restaurant

Copy of conference proceedings


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Workshop pass
70.00 CHF

Full-day numerical modelling workshop

Access to ITASCA and FRACOD2D softwares

Best-practice to state-of-the-art techniques

Take-home example codes


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