In the Structural Geology and Geomechanics group at Ohio State University, we study the development and dynamic behavior of brittle structures observed in rocks using experimental and continuum mechanical models. Fractures influence our daily lives more than most people care to realize. Our particular research interests vary from the physics of earthquake rupture to crustal deformation in active margins to fracturing of reservoir rocks, but the underlying theme of our work involves collecting structural data in the field and studying that data in the context of physics-based models to learn about the processes that govern the formation, growth, and mechanical behavior of fractures in the earth’s crust.

Our group is unique in that we spend equal parts of time in the field, in the lab doing physical experiments, and on the computer building numerical models.  We subscribe to the view that to really understand physical processes involved in crustal deformation in the Earth, we must start with astute observations in the field, followed by careful idealization and model construction to explain our observations. One benefit to this approach is that we have something for anyone who is mathematically-inclined and curious about the natural world: field work, physical experiments, and/or theoretical modeling. Most projects include at least two of the three.  If you are a prospective graduate student, please take a closer look at information on our webpage.  For more information, please contact me at Griffith.233@osu.edu


January 31, 2020:  Congratulations to graduate student Zach Smith for winning an Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the 2019 AGU meeting in San Franciso!  Zach also was recently awarded a research grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to study shatter cones and deformation band development in Berea Sandstone from the Serpent Mound Impact Structure!

Dec 13, 2019: Excellent job by graduate students Casey Saup, Mike Braunagel, and Zach Smith presenting new research at the 2019 AGU meeting in San Francisco:

Braunagel, M. J., & Griffith, W. A. (2019). The Effect of Dynamic Stress Cycling on the Compressive Strength of Rocks. In AGU Fall Meeting 2019.

Saup, C. M., Aduddell, R., Kim, J. E., Jorgensen, T., Griffith, W. A., & Griffith, E. M. (2019). Creating new pathways to geosciences and relieving bottlenecks in mathematics by teaching College Algebra in a geoscience context. In AGU Fall Meeting 2019.

Smith, Z., Griffith, W. A., Marren, T., Larocque, S., & Braunagel, M. J. (2019). Damage fabrics in crystalline vs. granular rocks formed in response to isotropic tension: Implications for coseismic off-fault pulverization. In AGU Fall Meeting 2019.

Griffith, W. A., & Braunagel, M. J. (2019). Mixed mode dynamic fracture toughness of Crystalline and Granular rocks: Implications for off-fault damage styles. In AGU Fall Meeting 2019.

Mixed Mode Dynamic Fracture Toughness test in Berea Sandstone.  Speckle pattern is for Digital Image Correlation. Counter in lower right hand corner is in microseconds. Video consists of 102 frames taken at 2 microsecond intervals.

Griffith, W. A., Braunagel, M. J., & Smith, Z. (2019). Recent experimental insights into dynamic fracture and fragmentation in fault damage zones. In AGU Fall Meeting 2019.

Dec 1, 2019:  Check out the YouTube page for our iGEM2 project sponsored by the NSF Geopaths program.  These are introductory videos for thematic units being implemented in a College Algebra course being implemented at the University of Texas Arlington.  You can read more about the project here.

June 14, 2019: New paper first-authored by grad student Mike Braunagel published in Geophysical Research Letters!

Braunagel, M. J., & Griffith, W. A. (2019). The Effect of Dynamic Stress Cycling on the Compressive Strength of Rocks. Geophysical Research Letters, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL082723. (pdf)

September 25, 2018: New paper first-authored by the brilliant and prolific Ernian Pan published in Geodesy and Geodynamics!

Pan, E., Griffith, W. A., & Liu, H. (2018). Effects of generally anisotropic crustal rocks on fault-induced displacement and strain fields. Geodesy and Geodynamics, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geog.2018.05.004(pdf)

August 27, 2018: New paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research!

Griffith, W.A., R.C. Julien, Ghaffari, H. O. and Barber, T.J. (2018). A tensile origin for pulverized fault rocks, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 123. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JB015786 (pdf)

July 24, 2018: Our new Shimadzu HPV-2 Camera was installed in the lab, thanks to the a grant from the Army Research Office (ARO) via the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP).  View a video of compressive fragmentation of Westerly Granite here using the new camera here:

The counter in the lower right hand corner is in microseconds. Video consists of 102 frames taken at 4 microsecond intervals.