Abstract

The circular fracture pattern in the Vatnajökull glacier generated by a recent subglacial volcanic eruption was analyzed using methods based on fractal analysis. A crossover analysis based on estimates of the sampling bias showed that the fracture length was proportional to a power of the fracture area, providing a quantitative characterization of patterns of interacting fractures. A simple simulation model reproduces the most important visual and statistical characteristics of the observed fracture pattern. The model can be used to understand and separate the roles of material properties, deformation history, and geometry in geological fracture processes.

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