Abstract

This paper investigates the influence of petrographic characteristics on the engineering properties of ultrabasic rocks from the Pindos, Vourinos and Koziakas ophiolites. The studied lithologies include dunites, olivine-rich harzburgites, typical harzburgites and plagioclase-bearing lherzolites. Quantitative petrographic analysis indicates that the samples display various percentages of secondary minerals. The peridotites are tested to determine the following engineering parameters: water absorption, apparent density, total porosity, point load index, Schmidt hammer value, aggregate abrasion value and polished stone value. The relationships between the petrographic features and the engineering parameters are determined using regression analysis. The micropetrographic index Irep and the ratios of secondary to primary (Se/P) and soft to hard (So/H) minerals provide significant information about the impact of ocean-floor metamorphism on the strength and durability of peridotites. The correlations indicate that the formation of secondary minerals results in mechanically weaker rocks. The polished stone value is the only engineering parameter that is positively affected by the presence of low contents of alteration products. The results also imply that Cr-spinel grains are a major determinant for the preservation of the microroughness of aggregate particles owing to their very hard nature and different mechanical behaviour compared with the surrounding silicate minerals.

You do not currently have access to this article.