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Dynamic compressive strength and fragmentation in felsic crystalline rocks

: Rae, Auriol S.P.; Kenkmann, Thomas; Padmanabha, Vivek; Poelchau, Michael H.; Schäfer, Frank

Volltext ()

Journal of geophysical research. E, planets 125 (2020), Nr.10, Art. e2020JE006561, 16 S.
ISSN: 2169-9097 (Print)
ISSN: 2169-9100 (Online)
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer EMI ()

Brittle deformation in rocks depends upon loading rate; with increasing rates, typically greater than ~102 s−1, rocks become significantly stronger and undergo increasingly severe fragmentation. Dynamic conditions required for rate‐dependent brittle failure may be reached during impact events, seismogenic rupture, and landslides. Material characteristics and fragment characterization of specific geomaterials from dynamic loading are only approximately known. Here we determine the characteristic strain rate for dynamic behavior in felsic crystalline rocks, including anisotropy, and describe the resulting fragments. Regardless of the type of felsic crystalline rock or anisotropy, the characteristic strain rate is the same within uncertainties for all tested materials, with an average value of 229 ± 81 s−1. Despite the lack of variation of the critical strain rate with lithology, we find that the degree of fragmentation as a function of strain rate varies depending on material. Scaled or not, the fragmentation results are inconsistent with current theoretical models of fragmentation. Additionally, we demonstrate that conditions during impact cratering, where the impactor diameter is less than ~100 m, are analogous to the experiments carried out here and therefore that dynamic strengthening and compressive fragmentation should be considered as important processes during impact cratering.