The orientation distribution of single joint sets
Published:January 01, 2004
Terry Engelder, Jean Delteil, 2004. "The orientation distribution of single joint sets", The Initiation, Propagation, and Arrest of Joints and Other Fractures, J. W. Cosgrove, T. Engelder
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The discrete-element method (UDEC — Universal Distinct Element Code) was used to numerically model the deformation and fluid flow in fracture networks under a range of loading conditions. A series of simulated fracture networks were generated to evaluate the effects of a range of geometrical parameters, such as fracture density, fracture length and anisotropy.
Deformation and fluid flow do not change progressively with increasing stress. Instability occurs at a critical stress and is charzacterized by the localization of deformation and fluid flow usually within intensively deformed zones that develop by shearing and opening along some of the fractures. The critical stress state may be described in terms of a driving stress ratio, R = (fluid pressure — mean stress)/1/2 (differential stress). Instability occurs where the R ratio exceeds some critical value, RC, in the range −1 to −2.
At the critical stress state, the vertical flow rates are characterized by a large increase in both their overal magnitude and degree of localization. This localization of deformation and fluid flow develops just prior to the critical stress state and may be characterized by means of multifractals. The stress-induced criticality and localization displayed by the models is an important phenomenon, which may help in the understanding of deformation-enhanced fluid flow in fractured rock masses.
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The Initiation, Propagation, and Arrest of Joints and Other Fractures
This volume is a state of the art look at our understanding of joint development in the crust. Answers are provided for such questions as the mechanisms by which joints are initiated, the factors controlling the path they follow during the propagation process, and the processes responsible for the arrest of joints. Many of the answers to these questions can be inferred from the geometry of joint surface morphology and joint patterns. Joints are a record of the orientation of stress at the time of propagation and as such they are also useful records of ancient stress fields, regional and local. Because outcrop and subsurface views of joints are limited, statistical techniques are required to characterize joints and joint sets. Finally, joints are subject to post-propagation stresses that further localize deformation and are the focus for the development of new structures.