This chapter provides a brief survey of key concepts in continuum mechanics. It focuses on the fundamental physical concepts that underlie derivations of the mathematical formulations of stress, strain, hydraulic head, pore-fluid pressure, and conservation equations. It then shows how stresses are linked to strain and rates of distortion through some special cases of idealized material behaviors. The goal is to equip the reader with a physical understanding of key mathematical formulations that anchor continuum mechanics in order to better understand theoretical studies published in geomorphology.
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Stress, deformation, conservation, and rheology: a survey of key concepts in continuum mechanics