The Energetics of Cataclasis Based on Breakage Mechanics

  • Giang D. Nguyen
  • Itai Einav
Part of the Pageoph Topical Volumes book series (PTV)


We develop a constitutive model for rocks that are constituted from brittle particles, based on the theory of breakage mechanics. The model connects between the energetics and the micromechanics that drive the process of confined comminution. Given this ability, our model not only describes the entire stress-strain response of the material, but also connects this response to predicting the evolution of the grain size distribution. The latter fact enables us to quantify how the permeability reduces within cataclasite zones, in relation to aspects of grain crushing. Finally, our paper focuses on setting a framework for quantifying how the energy budget of earthquakes is expensed in relation to dissipation events in cataclasis. We specifically distinguish between the dissipation directly from the creation of new surface area, which causes further breakage dissipation from the redistribution of locked-in stored energy from surrounding particles, dissipations from friction and from the configurational reorganisation of particles.

Key words

Cataclasis fault gouge breakage permeability energy balance fracture energy 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giang D. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Itai Einav
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering J05The University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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