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Ching-Yao Lai

"Fluid-induced cracking of ice sheets and ice shelves"

Event Details:

Thursday, October 12, 2023
4:30pm - 5:30pm PDT

Location

Bldg. 530, Room 127

Abstract: The interplay between fluid flows and fractures is ubiquitous in Nature and technology, from hydraulic fracturing in the shale formation to supraglacial lake drainage in Greenland and hydrofracture on Antarctic ice shelves. In this talk I will discuss the above three examples, focusing on the scaling laws and their agreement with lab experiments and field observations. As climate warms, the meltwater on Antarctic ice shelves could threaten their structural integrity through propagation of water-driven fractures. We used a combination of machine learning and fracture mechanics to understand the stability of fractures on ice shelves. Our result also indicates that as meltwater inundates the surface of ice shelves in a warm climate, their collapse driven by hydrofracture could significantly influence the flow of the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

Bio: Ching-Yao Lai (Yao) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford. Before joining Stanford, she was an Assistant Professor at Princeton University in the Department of Geosciences and Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. She received an undergraduate degree (2013) in Physics from National Taiwan University and a PhD (2018) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. She completed her postdoctoral research in geophysics at Lamont Earth Observatory at Columbia University where she received the Lamont Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her research focuses on understanding interactions between cracks and fluids of geophysical complex materials in the cryosphere. She was the recipient of the 2023 Google Research Scholar Award. She is also an active member of the APS Group on the Physics of Climate and holds the position of chair for its monthly virtual seminar.

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