It is proposed that discrete solution surfaces originate at stress concentrations and propagate through rocks as anticracks. As material is dissolved and removed, the anticrack walls move toward each other; stress and displacement fields are identical with those for the conventional opening crack, but with a change in sign. Observations of entire traces of solution surfaces are consistent with the anticrack concept: 1) the surfaces are bounded in extent; 2) the dissolved thickness varies from the centre to zero at the tips; and 3) the maximum dissolved thickness is proportional to the length of the surfaces. Local dissolution and in-plane propagation are suggested by the large isotropic compressive stress at the anticrack tip. Intersecting arrays of cracks, anticracks, and shear cracks operate to yield a mode of bulk deformation similar to diffusion-accommodated grain boundary sliding in polycrystalline solids.-A.P.
|Number of pages
|Published - Jan 1 1981
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