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Fractal patterns of fractures in granites

Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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Abstract

Fractal measurements using the Cantor's dust method in a linear one-dimensional analysis mode were made on the fracture patterns revealed on two-dimensional, planar surfaces in four granites. This method allows one to conclude that: 1. (1)|The fracture systems seen on two-dimensional surfaces in granites are consistent with the part of fractal theory that predicts a repetition of patterns on different scales of observation, self similarity. Fractal analysis gives essentially the same values of D on the scale of kilometres, metres and centimetres (five orders of magnitude) using mapped, surface fracture patterns in a Sierra Nevada granite batholith (Mt. Abbot quadrangle, Calif.). 2. (2)|Fractures show the same fractal values at different depths in a given batholith. Mapped fractures (main stage ore veins) at three mining levels (over a 700 m depth interval) of the Boulder batholith, Butte, Mont. show the same fractal values although the fracture disposition appears to be different at different levels. 3. (3)|Different sets of fracture planes in a granite batholith, Central France, and in experimental deformation can have different fractal values. In these examples shear and tension modes have the same fractal values while compressional fractures follow a different fractal mode of failure. The composite fracture patterns are also fractal but with a different, median, fractal value compared to the individual values for the fracture plane sets. These observations indicate that the fractal method can possibly be used to distinguish fractures of different origins in a complex system. It is concluded that granites fracture in a fractal manner which can be followed at many scales. It appears that fracture planes of different origins can be characterized using linear fractal analysis. ?? 1991.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fractal patterns of fractures in granites
Series title:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume
104
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1991
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
First page:
25
Last page:
35
Number of Pages:
11