Shear creep characteristics of weak carbonaceous shale in thick layered Permian limestone, southwestern China

  • Sainan ZhuEmail author
  • Yueping Yin
  • Bin Li
  • Yingjuan Wei


Several weak intercalations of carbonaceous shale, which are commonly developed in the Permian thick limestone strata in Wulong County, Chongqing, southwestern China, form a structure of alternating layers of soft and hard rocks, which control the stability of massive layered rockslides. We focus on the Permian carbonaceous shale and analyse its mineral composition, microstructure and shear creep characteristics during the three evolutionary stages. The analysis results indicate the following: (i) During the evolutionary process of the carbonaceous shale, the microstructure changed from compact to loose, and the clay mineral content gradually increased from less than 5% in the original soft rock to 5–10% in the interlayer shear zone, and finally to greater than 10% in the sliding zone. (ii) Under the identical shear stress, the creep displacement and rate gradually increase nonlinearly. Under the identical normal stress, the long-term shear strength gradually decreases, and the drop in cohesion is greater than the internal friction angle. (iii) We established an improved Burgers nonlinear damage creep model, which fully reflected the creep deformation process of the carbonaceous shale. The fitting curve of the model matched the experimental results well.


Carbonaceous shale weak intercalation shear creep long-term strength nonlinear damage creep model evolutionary process 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41472295) and the National Land Resources Survey of China (Nos. 12120114079101, DD20179609). The authors express their gratitude to the Associate Editor Saibal Gupta and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions to improve the paper.


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© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Institute of Geo-Environment MonitoringBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Engineering and TechnologyChina University of GeosciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of Geo-MechanicsBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.China Aero Geophysical Survey and Remote Sensing Center for Land and ResourcesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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