The PPEM Community is a subgroup the Mineral and Rock Physics (MRP) Group of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), which provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of the mechanical properties of geological materials.


Welcome to the Physical Properties of Earth Materials website

About PPEM

PPEM is made up of geoscientists and materials scientists who use experiments, theory and observation to study the properties of Earth’s materials. These properties are expressed as constitutive laws that link driving forces and reactions at geodynamic scales. The nature of macroscopic properties and the forms of constitutive laws that operate at the plate scale depend upon physical and chemical processes that operate at scales down to atomic dimensions.

The PPEM Steering Committee serves this community by bringing together scientists who develop and explore applications of rock mechanics and materials science approaches to geophysical problems, promoting the Gordon Conference on Rock Deformation, and encouraging the organization of symposia and workshops within and outside the AGU. PPEM also sponsors an annual dinner at the Fall AGU meeting and issues an annual Newsletter, while it promotes participation in the greater MRP Community and outreach to the rock mechanics and materials science communities outside of AGU.

The PPEM Steering Committee reports to MRP Committee of AGU, and furthers the goals of MRP of scientific advancement and innovation in fundamental studies of Earth materials, exchange of ideas across disciplines, and applications of Earth materials studies to plate dynamics, fault mechanics, development of geologic structures, and the physics of the deep Earth’s interior.

Membership and Correspondence

To add your name to the PPEM Membership List, please contact Wenlu Zhu at Members of the PPEM listserv can post announcements to

How to Get Involved

Please contribute to the annual Newsletter by sending us information pertinent to our community, including announcements about members of the PPEM and MRP community who received special recognition for their outstanding scientific contributions over the past year, short reports summarizing meetings and workshops held over the past year, notices for upcoming meetings, special sessions, and workshops, descriptions of new funding opportunities, descriptions of new laboratory equipment, and other exciting news and activities. Please send this information to Tom Mitchell at

The PPEM Steering Committee meets once a year in San Francisco at the Fall AGU Meeting (this year in New Orleans). Let us know if there are particular topics you want raised for discussion.

Members of the Steering Committee serve for three years. Each year, three members of the Steering Committee rotate off and new members must be identified. Every three years, a new Chairperson is appointed. New Committee members and the Chairperson are nominated by the PPEM membership and elected by the presiding Committee. Make your nominations by contacting any current Committee member.

The PPEM Community benefits from MRP and Tectonophysics representation in AGU. Increase our representation by getting involved in these communities.

Finally, attend the Annual PPEM Dinner held on Monday evening at Fall AGU!