Environmental Geomechanics & Geophysics

Duke offers a unique opportunity of Geo-systems research focused on: Environmental Geomechanics (Prof. T. Hueckel), Engineering and Environmental Geophysics (Prof. F. Boadu) and Environmental Soil Physics (Prof. A. Porporato).

Environmental Geomechanics –project examples:

 Current work of prof. Hueckel group addresses:

Environmental Geomechanics is a spearheading cross-disciplinary research area of interest to structural (foundation) engineering on difficult soils, pavement engineering, mountain hazards, environmental protection, and energy and resource production.

Of particular interest are geomechanics issues in nuclear, hazardous and toxic waste disposal, petroleum engineering, geothermal energy, CO2 sequestration geotechnology, methane hydrates technology. These are all areas of a recent tumultuous development and prospective massive investments in the near future. Without risk of exaggeration it can be stated that Environmental Geomechanics is a most dynamically developing area of geotechnology.

Environmental Geomechanics is distinguished by an intense coupling between geo-mechanics, subsurface hydrology, thermo-mechanics, geochemistry and engineering geology resulting from an intense influence of thermal, chemical and hydric phenomena and fields on mechanical behavior of soils and rocks.

Duke is one of the leading world centers in environmental geomechanics, and several of its early concepts were formulated and tested. These include: thermo-plasticity of clays, chemo-plasticity of soils and sediments, aging of soil.

Duke has developed intense international partnership in environmental geomechanics and involves its students in an international exchange and collaboration