Seminar- Seafloor Geotechnics

Mason Building 2117
Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 11:00


J. Carlos Santamarina, Ph.D.
Professor, KAUST

We know other planets better than our own oceans, yet, the oceans are central to our survival. This presentation starts with a brief introduction to some remarkable phenomena encountered offshore (hydrothermal circulation, salt glaciers, stratified brine pools, seeps, the transition from gas-driven fractures to bubbles and pockmarks, polygonal faults, pipes, chimneys, and submarine volcanoes). Then, we will focus on sediment formation, properties (self-compaction, permeability, stiffness) and implications (geoacoustic properties, bioactivity, gas migration and hydrate accumulation). Characterization and monitoring present unique challenges to both researchers and engineers; we will review recent developments in site characterization (from geophysics to multiphysics probes), sampling and lab testing (from pressure cores to lab-on-a-bench), and in process monitoring (distributed seafloor observatories). Finally, we will address salient engineering issues related to offshore developments (e.g., deep sea mining, foundations, and drilling). 


Dr. Santamarina’s research focuses on the fundamental study of geomaterials and subsurface coupled processes. The implementation of this research has involved the development and utilization of multi-scale experimental methods, high-resolution process monitoring, and numerical solutions. Dr. Santamarina has co-authored two books and more than 300 articles which summarize salient concepts and research results. He is a corresponding member of the Argentinean National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University, M.S. from the University of Maryland, and B.Sc. from Universidad de Cordoba.