The Penn Soft Earth Dynamics (PennSED) Lab: Experimental geophysics, with a focus on geomorphology (the "science of scenery") and the mechanics of earth materials. Research seeks to understand the spatial and temporal evolution of patterns that emerge at the interface of fluid and sediment on Earth and other planetary surfaces. We use laboratory experiments, combined with field work and theory, to elucidate the minimum number of ingredients that are required to explain physical phenomena. Particular foci include: sediment transport; rheology and failure of earth materials; landform dynamics including dunes, river channels, deltas and fans; stochastic and nonlinear transport processes; and landscape response to dynamic boundary conditions such as climate. We are also dedicated to nurturing the growth of a diverse community in the new field of Soft Earth Geophysics, through activities that seek to disrupt cultural practices that have historically excluded new people and new ideas from entering science.We are based in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science and Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at University of PennsylvaniaDouglas Jerolmack is the lab director.

Current Projects

Yielding dynamics in complex geophysical flows - Shravan Pradeep

Planetary fracture analysis - Sophie Silver

Using robotics to measure shear and intrusion forces in granular media - John Ruck

Sub-aqueous wet granular material failure - Eric Sigg

Funding Agencies

We are grateful for financial support from the following organizations: