In rheology, Byerlee's law, also known as Byerlee's friction law 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 stresses (σn) below about 2000 bars (200 MPa) the shear stress increases approximately linearly with the normal stress (τ = 0.85 σn) 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 = 0.5 + 0.6σn), and becomes nearly independent of rock type.
Notes and References
- E. B. Burov (2010). "Plate Rheology and Mechanics". In Watts, Anthony B. Crust and Lithosphere Dynamics: Treatise on Geophysics. Elsevier. p. 100. ISBN 9780444535726.
- Byerlee, James D. (July 1978). "Friction of Rocks". Pure and Applied Geophysics. 116 (4-5): 615–626. doi:10.1007/BF00876528. ISSN 0033-4553.
- 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.
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