Some Dynamic Characteristics of Rocks

  • Werner Goldsmith
  • Carl F. Austin
Part of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics book series (IUTAM)


The literature in the field of dynamic behavior of rock materials is relatively sparse and incomplete. Details and even raw data on pulse propagation and internal structural response of rock to the passage of a transient of more than negligible amplitude is virtually non-existent, particularly under controlled conditions. The present investigation consists of a study of the transmission and decay of pulses produced both by impact and explosive loading in a rock classified as a diorite. The samples were chosen and prepared with sufficient care and tested under identical conditions so that reproducibility of results comparable to that expected in metallic systems was obtained, indicating that the concept of non-reproducibility in geologic materials is not well founded.

Ballistically-suspended Hopkinson bars of diorite of 3/4-inch diameter and approximately 22 inches long were subjected to longitudinal impact by spherical and flat-ended projectiles of hardened steel at an initial velocity of about 3300 in/sec. Strain gages attaches to the specimens at various stations permitted a recording of the shape and velocity of propagation of the resultant wave. Similar experiments were performed on an aluminum alloy bar of identical size in order to assess the magnitude of the dispersion resulting from the three-dimensional character of the rod. The nature of the transformation of the pulse during passage permits an assessment of the validity of various models proposed for geologic substances in the field of seismology. A further detailed study of the internal response of the samples to such pulse passage was accomplished by means of microscopy and static tests, which correlated very well with the dynamic results. The average propagation velocity of a pulse generated by a contact explosion in a rectangular block of diorite was also determined.


Plutonic Rock Seismological Society Dynamic Tensile Strength Mine Report China Lake 
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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag, Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • Werner Goldsmith
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carl F. Austin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Naval Ordnance Test StationChina LakeUSA

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