Dr. Caleb Holyoke

Dr. Caleb Holyoke

Title: Assistant Professor/Undergraduate Adviser
Research Specialty: Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics
Dept/Program: Geosciences
Office: CRH 218
Phone: 330 972-7635
Fax: 330 972-7611
Email: cholyoke@uakron.edu
Website: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=T06GLGoAAAAJ&hl=en

Research Accomplishments


Structural Geology and Rock Mechanics

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, University of Akron, August 2014 to date
  • Assistant/Associate Research Scientist, Texas A&M University, August 2007 to July 2014
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, August 2006 to July 2007
  • Post-doctoral Scholar, University of Wisconsin, Madison, August 2005 to July 2006
  • Lecturer, University of Rhode Island, July to August 2005/2006
  • Geologist/Project Manager, MARCOR Environmental Services, Inc., November 1994 to August 1998


Research Interests

My research and teaching interests are in the general area of structural geology applied to solving problems related to the physical and chemical evolution of the Earth’s crust and upper mantle.  In my research, I use a combination of active testing of how changing variables such as temperature and strain rate affects the microstructures that develop due to specific deformation mechanisms and observational analysis of naturally deformed rocks to constrain the conditions that produce these same microstructures in nature.  Understanding these grain-scale processes contributes to our understanding of larger scale processes and controls on plate tectonics.

Current Research

I am currently working on an NSF-funded experimental study of the effects of magnesite on the initiation of deep focus earthquakes in subduction zones in collaboration with Drs. Andreas Kronenberg (Texas A&M University), Paul Raterron (Brown University) and Reid Cooper (Brown University).

The Rock deformation laboratory at the University of Akron has a wide variety of tools for preparing cores of rock for experiments and two apparatus for performing experiments on rocks.  The Griggs-type rock deformation apparatus is capable of deforming rocks at pressures up to 2000 MPa and temperatures up to 1400°C.  The Griggs apparatus has been used in experimental studies performed on quartz single crystals (Edward Poston), quartz polycrystals (Albert Barbery, Danielle Anderson, Casey Braccia), gneisses (Rebeccah DiPuccio) and magnesite (Joseph Millard and Caleb McDaniel).  The other apparatus, a Forney concrete testing machine with Hoek-type pressure vessel, is capable of deforming rocks at pressures up to 70 MPa and room temperature.  This apparatus was used by Robert McGinnis to determine the mechanical properties of limestones and sandstones from Kentucky used to construct a model of cave formation.

Deep Proc Montage(left) Students (l to r) Joe Millard, Paul Krasner, Ed Poston and Albert Barbery coring quartz.  (right) Students Cole Blasko and Nick Jackson performing experiments at Argonne National Laboratory.


Fukuda, J., Holyoke, C.W., and Kronenberg, A. K., 2018, Deformation of fine-grained quartz aggregates by mixed diffusion and dislocation creep, Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1029/2017JB015133.

Kronenberg, A.K., Hasnan, H.F.B., Holyoke, C.W., Law, R.D., Liu, Z., Thomas, J.B., 2017, Synchrotron FTIR imaging of OH in quartz mylonites, Solid Earth, v. 8, p. 1025-1045, DOI: 10.5194/se-8-1025-2017.

Ratteron, P., Fraysse, G., Girard, J., Holyoke, C.W., 2016, Strength of orthoenstatite single crystals at mantle pressure and temperature and comparison with olivine, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 450, p. 326-336, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.06.025.

Kilian, R., Heilbronner, R., Holyoke, C.W., Kronenberg, A., Stunitz, H., 2016, Dislocation creep of dry quartz, v. 121, p. 3278–3299, DOI: 10.1002/2015JB012771.

Holyoke, C.W., Kronenberg, A., Newman, J., Ulrich, C., 2014, Rheology of magnesite, Journal of Geophysical Research., v. 119, p 6534-6557, doi: 10.1002/2013JB010541.

Holyoke, C.W., Kronenberg, A., Newman, J., 2014, Microstructural evolution during strain localization in dolomite aggregates, Journal of Structural Geology. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2014.04.008.

Holyoke, C. W. and Kronenberg, A., 2013, Reversible water weakening of quartz, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 347, p. 185-190, DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.05.039.

Ratteron, P., Merkel, S., Holyoke, C. W., 2013, Axial temperature gradient and stress measurements in the deformation-DIA cell using alumina pistons, Review of Scientific Instruments, v. 84, 043906; DOI:  10.1063/1.4801956.

Holyoke, C. W., Kronenberg, A., Newman J., 2013, Dislocation creep of polycrystalline dolomite, Tectonophysics, v. 590, p. 72-82,  DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2013.01.011

Stewart, E., Holyoke, C. W., Kronenberg, A., 2013, High pressure deformation experiments using solid confining media and Griggs piston-cylinder methods: appraisal of stress and deformation in talc assemblies, Tectonophysics, v. 588, p. 171-178, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2012.12.004

Girard, J., Chen, J., Ratteron, P., Holyoke, C. W., 2013, The effect of hydroxyls on olivine deforming by dislocation creep: rheology of single crystals oriented for (010)[100] slip, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, v. 216, p. 12-20, DOI: 10.1016/j.pepi.2012.10.009

Holyoke, C. W. and Kronenberg, A., 2010, Accurate differential stress measurement using the molten salt cell and solid salt assemblies in the Griggs apparatus with applications to strength, piezometers and rheology, Tectonophysics, v. 494, no. 1-2, p. 17-31, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2010.08.001.

Girard, J., Chen, J., Raterron, P., Holyoke, C. W., 2010, Deformation of single crystal sample using D-DIA apparatus coupled with synchrotron X-rays: In situ stress and strain measurements at high pressure and temperature, Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, v. 71, no 8, p. 1053-1058, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpcs.2010.03.005.

Webber, C., Holyoke, C. W., Newman, J. Little, T., Tikoff, B., 2010, Fabric development in cm-scale shear zones, Red Hills, New Zealand, Tectonophysics, v. 489, no. 1-4, p. 55-75, DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2010.04.001.

Holyoke, C. W. and Tullis J., 2006, The interaction between reaction and deformation: an experimental study using a biotite + plagioclase + quartz gneiss, Journal of Metamorphic Geology, v. 24, no. 8, p. 743 – 762, DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1314.2006.00666.x.

Holyoke, C. W. and Tullis J., 2006, Mechanisms of weak phase interconnection and the effects of phase strength contrast, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 28, no. 4, p. 621-640, DOI: 10.1016/j.jsg.2006.01.008.

Holyoke, C. W. and Tullis J., 2006, Formation and maintenance of shear zones, Geology, v. 34, no. 2, p 105-108, DOI: 10.1130/G22116.1.

Holyoke, C. W. and Rushmer, T., 2002, An experimental study of grain scale melt segregation mechanisms in two common crustal rock types, Journal of Metamorphic Geology, v. 20, no. 5, p. 493-512, DOI: 10.1046/j.1525-1314.2002.00381.x.


  • Ph.D., Geology, Brown University, 2005
  • M.S., Geology, University of Vermont, 2000
  • B.S., Geology, James Madison University, 1994


  • Physical Geology (3370:101)
  • Earthquakes (3370:125)
  • Engineering Geology (3370:301)
  • Structural Geology (3370:350)
  • Advanced Structural Geology (3370:450/550)
  • Field Camp II (3370:454/554)
  • Research Problems in Geology (3370:499)
  • Seminar: Geology (3370:680)


Current and Former Graduate students

Current and Former Undergraduate Students

  • Braccia, Casey “Effect of a pre-existing lattice preferred orientation on the strength of foliated quartzite”, Honors Thesis, Expected graduation Dec. 2018
  • Christopher Thomas “Effects of weathering on the strength of Indiana Limestone” Expected graduation May 2019
  • Anderson, Danielle “Deformation of Water-Depleted Quartzite”, May 2018 (Now at Safety Resources Company of Ohio)
  • DiPuccio, Rebeccah “Foliation orientation and effects on the middle to lower continental crust” May 2018
  • Blasko, Cole “Pressure dependence of polycrystalline magnesite and dolomite” May 2017 (Now at Bowling Green University)
  • Jackson, Nicholas “Grain size dependence of magnesite low temperature plasticity” Dec. 2016 (Now at Solar Engineering)
  • Fraser, Jessica “Rubber Roads for the Rubber City: Testing the Suitability of Rubberized Asphalt for Roads in Northeast Ohio”, Honors Thesis, May 2016 (Now at Goodyear)
  • Millard, Joseph “Viscosity Contrast Between Chert and Iron Oxide Based on Fold Wavelength” May 2016 (Now at Klondex Mines, NV)
  • Ritter, Abigail “Jointing relationships in the Sharon Sandstone” Honors Thesis, May 2016 (Now at St. Louis University, MO)
  • Zidd, Natalie “Microstructure and Deformation Mechanism Analysis of Carbonate Rock located in an Anticline” Honors Thesis, May 2016
  • Miller, Max “Examination of Soft Sediment Faulting in Unconsolidated Glacial Sediment in Akron, Ohio” Dec 2016 (Now at Beaver Construction)