André R. Niemeijer
TS Tectonics and Structural Geology
The 2012 Division Outstanding Young Scientists Award is awarded to André R. Niemeijer for his exceptional work on the effects of fluid-rock interactions and fabric development on rock and fault mechanical properties.
Since embarking on his PhD in 2002, André Niemeijer has made remarkable contributions to understanding rock deformation, fault rheology, and transport properties under conditions relevant to the Earth’s mid and upper crust. He is one of the few fault mechanics experimentalists to address the crucial effects that chemical interactions and large-strain fabric development have on fault slip behaviour, and is amongst the first to provide quantitative microphysical models for fault zone weakening, healing and stable versus unstable slip behaviour. Niemeijer’s work is further distinguished by his on-going attempts to investigate the full spectrum of fault slip rates and environmental conditions relevant to earthquake rupture nucleation, rupture propagation, post-seismic creep and fault healing. His contributions have come not only through his publications but also through hands-on efforts to improve and develop both the low- and high-velocity experimental facilities and methods that are essential for progress in the field of fault mechanics. Through Niemeijer’s truly multi-disciplinary approach to understanding rock and fault behaviour in the chemically active environment of the seismogenic zone, his work is having an impact far beyond the world of experimentalists, raising new awareness of the need to incorporate chemical processes and fault rock (micro) structure into quantitative modeling of the seismic cycle.