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Faults and damage zone properties control a range of important phenomena, from the hydraulic properties of underground reservoirs to the physics of earthquakes on a larger scale. Here, we investigate the effect of disorder of porous rocks on the spatial structure of damage emerging under compression. Model rock samples are numerically generated by sedimenting particles where the amount of disorder is controlled by the particle size distribution. To obtain damage bands with a sufficiently large length along axis, we performed simulations of ‘Brazilian’-type compression tests of cylindrical samples. As failure is approached, damage localization leads to the formation of two conjugate shear bands. The orientation angle of bands to the loading direction increases with disorder, implying a decrease in the internal coefficient of friction. The width of the damage band scales as a power law of the degree of disorder. Inside the damage band, the sample is crushed into a large number of pieces with a power law mass distribution. The shape of fragments undergoes a crossover at a disorder-dependent size from the isotropy of small pieces to the anisotropic flattened form of the large ones. The results provide important constraints in understanding the role of disorder in geological fractures.
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|Early online date||26 Nov 2018|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Jan 2019|