Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Research

View Profile

Mr Chris Harbord , MESci

Ph.D. Student in the Department of Earth Sciences
Room number: Open Plan Area

Contact Mr Chris Harbord

Interests

Earthquakes are a violent manifestation of the tectonic movement of the earth's tectonic plates, and affect millions of people annually, yet in spite of this we still do not fully understand how they start. To investigate the nucleation of earthquakes I use a combination of experiments, modelling, theory and fieldwork to develop a model of nucleation that is faithful to natural faults. I am interested in determining the role of natural fault architecture and structure in earthquake nucleation and propagation, and developing a quantitative understanding of frictional wear processes.

PhD: Laboratory earthquakes

Frictional melt generated during laboratory stick slip event.

Friction melt (pseudotachylyte) produced by earthquakes on laboratory simulated faults.

My primary PhD focus is to understand how fault zone architecture and the inherent heterogeneity of natural faults exerts primary control on frictional sliding processes in fault zones. To do this I conduct experiments on roughened blocks of rock to simulate the observed roughness of natural faults. Experiments are run in a triaxial vessel at with imposed low velocity to simulate tectonic loading. In these experiments, I investigate the influence of roughness and normal stress in both the nucleation (see Harbord et al. 2017, Geology) and propagation of earthquake rupture using high frequency strain measurements (Harbord et al. 2018, in submission). 

I have also been involved in researching the mechanical strength of ultrapure serpentinite gouges at high temperature to understand their role in weak faulting, in collaboration with researchers at INGV in Rome.

Posters presented

Frictional instability of rough faults in graniteHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. AGU fall meeting, December 2016.

Weakness of serpentine minerals revealed by experiments at low and high temperature, Tesei T, Harbord C, Viti C, Colletini C, De Paola N. AGU fall meeting, December 2016.

Frictional instability of rough faults in graniteHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. Royal Society Theo Murphy Meetings: Faulting, Friction and Weakening, December 2016.

Talks presented

Flash heating during laboratory earthquakesHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Faulkner D, Passelegue. Invited seminar at LIVROCKDEF, Liverpool, June 2018.

Flash heating during laboratory earthquakesHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N. Invited seminar at INGV Roma, April 2018.

Frictional behaviour and evolution of rough faults in limestone, Harbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. TSG, Plymouth, January 2018.

Frictional behaviour and evolution of rough faults in limestone, Harbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. AGU fall meeting, New Orleans, December 2017.

Earthquake nucleation on rough faultsHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. BSM, April 2017.

Earthquake nucleation on rough faultsHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. Inivited seminar at Physics of Geological Processes, University of Oslo, March 2017.

Frictional instability of rough faults in graniteHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. TSG, January 2017.

Frictional instability of rough faults in granite, Harbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. AGU fall meeting, December 2016.

Weakness of serpentine minerals revealed by experiments at low and high temperature, Tesei T, Harbord C, Viti C, Colletini C, De Paola N. AGU fall meeting, December 2016.

Fault zone roughness controls frictional slip stabilityHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. Gordon Research Seminar, August 2016.

Fault zone roughness controls frictional slip stabilityHarbord C, Nielsen S, De Paola N, Holdsworth R. EGU, April 2016.

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2018: Ramsay medal: Awarded for the best publication in the field of structural geology directly arising from PhD reasearch.
  • 2017: Best Talk in Rock Deformation at TSG 2017:
  • 2014: Geoffrey Nowell Memorial award: Overall excellence in MESci degree from the Uinversity of Liverpool

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Earth Sciences:
  • Tectonics: