Abstract

Linear elastic fracture mechanics quantitatively relates the driving stress of fracture propagation to the material properties of the fractured solid and may be used to model the decrepitation (fracturing) of fluid inclusions under the influence of internal pressure. Existing experimental data on decrepitation can be explained by the methods of fracture mechanics. The decrepitation pressure vs. size relation may therefore be predicted for fluid inclusions in minerals that have not been the subject of quantitative decrepitation studies. It may be possible to determine the fracture toughness of minerals by decrepitation studies utilizing synthetic fluid inclusions.

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