Experimental observations and statistical modeling of crack propagation dynamics in limestone by acoustic emission analysis during freezing and thawing

Maji, Vikram and Murton, Julian B (2021) Experimental observations and statistical modeling of crack propagation dynamics in limestone by acoustic emission analysis during freezing and thawing. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 126 (7). a2021JF006127 1-22. ISSN 2169-9011

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Abstract

The timing and location of microcracking events, their propagation and coalescence to form macrocracks, and their development by tension, shearing or mixed modes are little known but essential to understanding the fracture of intact rock by freezing and thawing. The aims of the present study are to investigate the mechanisms and transition of microcracking and macrocracking during repeated freeze-thaw, and to develop a statistical model of crack propagation that assesses the distance and angular relationship of neighboring cracking events arranged in their temporal order of occurrence. Eight acoustic emission (AE) sensors mounted on a 300 mm cubic block of chalk captured the three-dimensional locations of microcracking events in their temporal order of occurrence during 16 seasonal freeze-thaw cycles simulating an active layer above permafrost. AE events occurred mostly during thawing periods (45%) and freeze-to-thaw transitions (37%) rather than during freezing periods (9%) and thaw-to-freeze transitions (8%), suggesting that most AE (microcrack) events were driven by the process of ice segregation rather than volumetric expansion. The outcomes of a novel statistical model of crack propagation based on two boundary conditions—inside-out and outside-in modes of cracking—were assessed based on Bayes’ theorem by testing the hypothesis that the inside-out mode of cracking was favored by tensional activity, whereas the outside-in mode was supported by shearing events. In both situations, the hypothesis accounted for 54%–73% confidence level. The microcrack propagation model can distinguish reasonably between cracks formed by volumetric expansion and ice segregation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2021 14:44
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2021 15:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/100626

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