University of Texas at Austin
Resedimentation of Nankai Mudstones to Illuminate Lithologic Control on Permeability and Compressibility


I am going to perform experiments on mudstone mixtures to study the mechanical and flow behavior as a function of lithology. From that I will develop a quantitative, geomechanical model that relates mudstone composition to compressibility and permeability. I hypothesize that withincreasing silt fraction mudstone compressibility linearly decreases and permeability exponentially increases. To test my hypothesis, I propose a geotechnical and sedimentological testing program. Preliminary work on Boston Blue Clay has shown the potential of this approach. My proposed study is important for pore pressure predictions, fluid flow and permeability modeling. It has the potential to provide a systematic approach to predicting mudstone compressibility and permeability as a function of composition.


I grew up in Northern Germany and completed a B.S. and M.S. in Geosciences at The University of Bremen, Germany. While working in different research groups in Bremen, I became fascinated with marine geology and geophysics and had the opportunity to participate in three research expeditions. I met my current advisor on the last of these, an IODP expedition in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then I have been really interested in mudstones, pore fluid pressures, and shallow fluid flow. After Bremen I came across the Atlantic Ocean to pursue a Ph.D. with Dr. Peter Flemings on these topics. I am currently starting the fifth year of my doctoral program at the University of Texas at Austin. My dissertation research involves geotechnical experimentation focused on the influence of composition on the consolidation and permeability behavior of marine mudstones.