TS Tectonics and Structural Geology
The 2023 Arne Richter Award for Outstanding Early Career Scientists is awarded to Jessica McBeck for developing a new and unique understanding of strain localization mechanisms that control failure across scales, with the application of novel investigation techniques and modelling tools.
Jessica McBeck has rapidly established herself as a world leader in the study of three-dimensional strain localization mechanisms that control failure and the development of strategies that unlock the precursors driving catastrophic rupture. Using her outstanding cross-disciplinary computational and geoscience skills, she developed fundamental connections between fractures in laboratory experiments and at crustal scales (e.g. accretionary prisms). Making detailed observations of experimental features not observable at the field-scale and connecting them to crustal-scale processes is a grand challenge in Solid Earth that has been identified as a knowledge gap for over 50 years. Jessica McBeck’s research has provided fundamental findings that fill this critical gap. To analyse novel rock physics experiments, she has developed innovative tools including digital volume correlation, as well as statistical techniques that quantify localization and machine learning algorithms that indicate approaching macroscopic failures. Jessica McBeck’s analyses of deformation localization in laboratory experiments and discrete element model simulations have provided critically important insights, including highlighting a final phase of diffuse deformation before macroscopic failure. With her ability to produce cross-disciplinary high-level research at the interface between Geoscience and Computer Science, she is not only an outstanding scientist, but also a role model for the Earth Sciences scientific community. The Tectonics and Structural Geology Division congratulates Jessica McBeck on her achievements!