EFFORT is a UK NERC funded research project running from January 2011 to January 2014. It is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between geoscientists (School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh), rock physicists (Department of Earth Sciences, UCL), and informaticians (School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh). Brittle failure of the crust is likely to play a key role in controlling the timing of a range of geophysical hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, yet the predictability of brittle failure is unknown.
EFFORT aims to develop and apply a facility for developing and testing models to forecast brittle failure in experimental and natural data. Model testing will be done in real-time, prospective mode (i.e. before failure has occurred) in order to avoid selection biases that are possible in retrospective analyses. The project will ultimately quantify the predictability of brittle failure, and how this predictability scales from simple, controlled laboratory conditions to the complex, uncontrolled real world.