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Russian Geology and Geophysics

2008 year, number 5

Time-dependent stress change during failure of rocks

V.T. Belikov, A.F. Shestakov
Institute of Geophysics, Ural Branch of the RAS 100, ul. Amundsena, Ekaterinburg, 620016, Russia
Keywords: Rock failure; energy balance; surface energy; stress; fracture-related stress change
Pages: 350-359


The energy balance of a solid subject to fracture has been explored using heat and mass transfer equations with regard to the volumetric and superficial components. In the suggested model, brittle fracture of a cracked solid considered as a heterogeneous two-phase medium is described by an equation analogous to the Griffith's criterion for propagation of a single crack. The derived equation is used, together with estimates of relative change in specific interface area, to study the respective change of free strain energy and pressure in rocks associated with failure.