Exceptionally warm summer temperatures in northern Europe during the summer of 2014 were accompanied by active fracturing and small rockbursts from flat-lying postglacial bedrock surfaces on a small Finnish Island. Employing a new portable acoustic emission detection system, this project will investigate the correspondence between key environmental variables (air and rock temperature, humidity, wind, and precipitation), variations in bedrock stress, and active fracture development. Results are expected to be directly applicable to fields ranging from nuclear waste disposal, to rockfall hazard assessment, and paleoclimate research. Tasks for this project will include processing of acoustic emission data gathered over the summer of 2016. We aim to understand the effects of temperature on the frequency and magnitude of AE events, as well information on thermal stresses (as evident from changes in wave propagation speed) in the rock outcrop.

Supervisor: Kerry Leith (kerry.leith@erdw.ethz.ch), Valentin Gischig