Tensile rock mass strength estimated using InSAR

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20 Scopus citations

Abstract

The large-scale strength of rock is known to be lower than the strength determined from small-scale samples in the laboratory. However, it is not well known how strength scales with sample size. I estimate kilometer-scale tensional rock mass strength by measuring offsets across new tensional fractures (joints), formed above a shallow magmatic dike intrusion in western Arabia in 2009. I use satellite radar observations to derive 3D ground displacements and by quantifying the extension accommodated by the joints and the maximum extension that did not result in a fracture, I put bounds on the joint initiation threshold of the surface rocks. The results indicate that the kilometer-scale tensile strength of the granitic rock mass is 1–3 MPa, almost an order of magnitude lower than typical laboratory values.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)n/a-n/a
Number of pages1
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume39
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 7 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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