Byerlee's law

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In rheology, Byerlee's law, also known as Byerlee's friction law[1] concerns the shear stress (τ) required to slide one rock over another. The rocks have macroscopically flat surfaces, but the surfaces have small asperities that make them "rough." For a given experiment and at normal stressesn) below about 2000 bars (200 MPa) the shear stress increases approximately linearly with the normal stress (τ = 0.85 σn, where τ and σn is in units of MPa) and is highly dependent on rock type and the character (roughness) of the surfaces, see Mohr-Coulomb friction law. Byerlee's law states that with increased normal stress the required shear stress continues to increase, but the rate of increase decreases (τ = 50 + 0.6σn), where τ and σn are in units of MPa, and becomes nearly independent of rock type.[2]

The law describes an important property of crustal rock, and can be used to determine when slip along a geological fault takes place.

See also[edit]


Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ E. B. Burov (2010). "Plate Rheology and Mechanics". In Watts, Anthony B. (ed.). Crust and Lithosphere Dynamics: Treatise on Geophysics. Elsevier. p. 100. ISBN 9780444535726.
  2. ^ Byerlee, James D. (July 1978). "Friction of Rocks". Pure and Applied Geophysics. 116 (4–5): 615–626. Bibcode:1978PApGe.116..615B. doi:10.1007/BF00876528. ISSN 0033-4553. S2CID 128666327.

General references[edit]

  • Fossen, Haakon (2010). Structural Geology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139488617.
  • Karner, Garry D. (2004). Rheology and Deformation of the Lithosphere at Continental Margins. MARGINS theoretical and experimental earth science series. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231127387.
  • Stüwe, Kurt (2013). Geodynamics of the Lithosphere. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783662049808.
  • Wangen, Magnus (2010). Physical Principles of Sedimentary Basin Analysis. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521761253.