After a short introduction to the mechanism and politics of fracking, the talk will concentrate on the fluid mechanics and elastodynamics of driving fluid into cracks and the quite different response when the pressure is released and the fluid flows back out. Development of the governing equations will be presented along with their numerical solution and asymptotic analysis in certain useful limits. Videos of laboratory experiments will be shown and the results compared with the theoretical predictions.
Herbert Huppert, born and raised in Sydney, Australia, started his academic career at the University of Sydney. He then became the only graduate student in applied mathematics in the department headed by Professor Bernhard Neumann AC FAA FRS at ANU, supervised by one of the world’s great fluid dynamicists, the American John Miles. When Miles returned to California, he took Huppert with him to complete his Ph.D. in 1968. Huppert then went to Cambridge University as a postdoc; and somehow he has never left! He initiated and developed the field of Geological Fluid Mechanics and became the first Professor of Theoretical Geophysics and the Foundation Director of the Institute of Theoretical Geophysics in 1989. He was required to retire, because of turning 67, in September 2011 and is currently an Emeritus Professor at Cambridge. Upon retirement, he was appointed a (four months per year) Professor in the Faculty of Science of Bristol University and an (up to four months per year) Professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of New South Wales.