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.
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.
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.
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.