Effect of σ2 on All Aspects of Failure in Rocks from Granite to Sandstone

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 8:20 AM
Bezalel C Haimson, Univ of Wisc-Madison, Geological Engineering and Materials Science and Engr., Madison, WI, United States and Xiaodong Ma, Now at Stanford University, Geophysics, Stanford, CA, United States; Univ of Wisc-Madison, Geological Engineering Program, Madison, WI, United States
We have studied the effect of σ2 on failure characteristics of two crystalline and three clastic rocks subjected to true triaxial stresses. Common to all rocks tested is the rise in both strain localization onset and σ1 at failure (σ1,peak) for a given σ3, as σ2 is elevated beyond its base level (σ2 = σ3). σ1,peak reaches a maximum at some level of σ2, beyond which it gradually declines, approaching its base magnitude when σ2 nears its own maximum. Failure-plane angle with respect to σ1 for a given σ3 also increases with σ2, at least until the maximum σ1,peak is reached.

Westerly granite (Haimson and Chang, IJRMMS, 2000) and KTB amphibolite (Chang and Haimson, JGR, 2000), exhibited a dramatic σ2 effect: at low σ3 (20-30 MPa), higher σ2 lifted σ1,peak by up to 50% over its base level. At high σ3, the increase in σ1,peak was reduced, but even at σ3 = 100 MPa, maximum σ1,peak in both rocks was over 20% higher than its base level. Failure mode remained brittle throughout the stress range tested, but the onset of dilatancy rose with σ2, as did the failure-plane (shear-band) angle (by up to 20°).

A gentler effect of σ2 on σ1, peak and failure-plane angle was observed in the clastics, and that effect subsided as porosity increased. In low porosity (φ = 7%) TCDP siltstone (Oku, et al, GRL, 2007), the maximum σ1,peak at σ3 = 25 MPa was about 30% larger than at σ2 = σ3 level, and only 12.5% larger at σ3 = 100 MPa. Failure mode stayed brittle throughout, but shear-band angle increase with σ2 was limited to about 10°, irrespective of σ3 level. An even smaller σ2 effect was observed in Coconino sandstone (φ = 17%) (Ma, PhD thesis, 2014). σ1,peak reached a maximum of about 10% higher than at σ2 = σ3 level; failure-plane angle rise with σ2 was less than 10°. The weakest σ2 effect was found in the high porosity (φ= 25%) Bentheim sandstone (Ma, PhD thesis, 2014). Here σ1, peak reached a maximum of well under 10% higher than its base magnitude, regardless of σ3 level; average failure-plane angle rise with σ2 was below 10°. Failure at σ3 = 150 MPa was along a compaction band(s) normal to σ1, regardless of σ2. Both Coconino and Bentheim underwent dilatant failure at low σ3, shifting to compactive failure at high σ3 levels. But σ2 also affected the failure mode: compactive failure at σ2 = σ3 gradually reverted to a dilatant mode as σ2 was raised.