Research Projects

ICDP SUSTAIN drilling project, Surtsey Volcano, Iceland

Time-lapse hydrothermal processes in a pristine basaltic oceanic island and UNESCO World Heritage site

Roman architectural concretes

Roman seawater harbor concretes

Al-tobermorite, bonding environments

Historic Stone Masonry, Flagstaff, Arizona

Experimental concrete prototypes, durability and testing

Basaltic tephra and lava

Surtsey Volcano, Iceland (1963-1967)

We are investigating how long term crystallization of mineral cements in

imperial Roman mortar promotes chemical resilience, fracture toughness, and autogenous healing of fractures in the 2000-year-old monuments

Conglomeratic pyroclastic rock concrete

Great Hall, Markets of Trajan, Rome (~110 CE)

Our recent American Mineralogist article describes Al-tobermorite and

phillipsite crystallization at low temperature, and compares processes in the seawater concrete with rock-water interactions in basaltic tephra deposits.

Pumiceous seawater mortar

Baianus Sinus breakwater, Bay of Pozzuoli (late 1st C BCE)

Exploration of Al-tobermorite crystal structures, compositions, and bonding

environments provide a basis for evaluating potential cation-exchange properties

in Roman concretes and altered basaltic tephra.

Al-tobermorite, relict lime clast

Baianus Sinus breakwater, Bay of Pozzuoli (late 1st C BCE)

Our materials testing of reproductions of Roman architectural and seawater

harbor mortars provide a basis for implementing Roman technologies in

environmentally-friendly cementitious materials with specialty properties.

Stone masonry in downtown Flagstaff, Arizona and in Sinaguan ruins

(1100 CE) record geologic environments in northern Arizona, from

Triassic lagoons and flood plains to recent basaltic eruptions.

Markets of Trajan mortar reproduction

Philip Brune, Cornell University (2010)

Basaltic fieldstone masonry

Guadalupe Chapel, Flagstaff, Arizona (1926)