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For places in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, see Rheide (disambiguation).

A rheid /ˈrɪd/ is a non-molten solid that deforms by viscous flow at least a thousand times faster than it would deform elastically under the same applied stress.[1][2] The term, which was coined by S. Warren Carey in 1953, has the same Greek root as rheology, the science of viscoelasticity and nonlinear flow.

Types of rheids[edit]

Almost any type of rock can behave as a rheid under appropriate conditions of temperature and pressure. For example, the Earth's mantle is believed to undergo convection over long time scales. As the mantle supports the propagation of shear waves, it may be deduced that it is a solid and, therefore, behaving as a rheid when it undergoes said convection. Granite has a measured viscosity at standard temperature and pressure of about 4.5×1019 Pa·s [3] so it should be considered a rheid. Halite, the mineral form of salt, is a geological material that behaves as a rheid over relatively short time periods. As salt is buried by other types of sediments, it will often flow laterally towards regions of less confining stress. Through this mechanism, salt domes and other structures are formed. In some areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico, these structures often serve as traps for petroleum and natural gas.


  1. ^ Neuendorf, K.K.E. (2005). Jackson J.A., Mehl J.P. & Neuendorf K.K.E., ed. Glossary of Geology (5 ed.). Springer. p. 551. ISBN 9780922152766. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Holmes, Arthur (1978). Principles of physical geology (3 ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 131. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Kumagai, Naoichi; Sadao Sasajima; Hidebumi Ito (15 February 1978). "Long-term Creep of Rocks: Results with Large Specimens Obtained in about 20 Years and Those with Small Specimens in about 3 Years". Journal of the Society of Materials Science (Japan). Japan Energy Society. 27 (293): 157–161. Retrieved 2008-06-16.