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Here are the current/upcoming student research projects in the Deformation Research Group:

Graduate students

Shashank KhatriShashank Khatri (MS 2017, now working on his PhD) studied structural controls on the fracture network characteristics of the Middle Member of the Bakken Formation in the Elm Coulee Field. He used post-stack processing techniques in Petrel 2015 and analog structural models to study the wrench fault network in the 3D Seismic data set from the south-eastern part of the Elm Coulee Field. A fracture model was built for the Middle Member of the Bakken Formation from the results obtained, which correlates well with areas of enhanced EUR in the Elm Coulee Trend.  PhD work focuses on damage zones and fault architecture.

Ipsita MitraIpsita Mitra is working on her PhD. She is looking at a variety of fault architecture-related problems, using seismic data from the Gulf of Mexico, field data from Japan and, we hope, core data from the South Atlantic Transect (IODP expedition 390/393). The common thread tying her investigations together is the concept of fault damage and the scale of fault damage zones, coupled with the implications for fluid flow through the damage zone or fracture system being investigated.

Nick RichardNick Richard is working jointly in the Deformation Research Group and the UNITE lab under the guidance of Dr. Lynne Elkins. He is working on his PhD, having an MS degree from New Mexico. He is looking at the development of block breakdown and faulting in Vietnam as well as the age and evolution of the lithosphere through geochemical analyses. Nick is about to carry out his first field season in Vietnam in Jan 2020, supported by an NSF grant.


Matthew PritchardMatthew Pritchard (undergraduate researcher, honors thesis) is carrying out literature based research into the geologic and socioeconomic effects of a major earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone. He has considered the Cascadia subduction zone in comparison to similar subduction zones for a sense of the geologic effects of such an event, and has looked at the various measures of socioeconomic vulnerability along the Washington and Oregon coast. The third part of his thesis will focus on researching the state of warning systems along Cascadia. Matthew will defend his thesis in Spring 2020 and graduate in May 2020.

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