Monday, March 05, 2012

Suggestion-based high speed

Earlier, I had asked for some suggestions about geologic concepts that would benefit from some high speed. Ron Schott suggested rock failure modes. While I'm not equipped to really fracture rocks properly, I can show something similar by showing what "soil" does under compression. Soils, like rocks, fail by "shearing" - even though a compressive force is applied to the plug of soil, it fails and squishes while pieces slip past each other.

On the subject of rock mechanical analogs, the snow on the student center roof has developed some lovely overturned and sheared folds:




Rock behaves differently on the continental scale than it does when we hold them in our hands. Hold a rock in your hand, smack it with a hammer and it will probably break into many pieces (brittle deformation). But pile a few more kilometers of rock on top, push on it slowly through tectonics so that the stress is applied over a large area, and watch the rock twist and bend wildly before finally breaking.

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