Rock deformation at different stress levels in the brittle regime and across the brittle-ductile transition is controlled by damage processes occurring on different spatial scales, from grain scale to fractured rock masse. These lead to a progressive increase of micro- and meso-crack intensity in the rock matrix and to the growth of inherited macro-fractures at rock mass scale. Coalescence of these fractures forms large-scale structures such as brittle fault zones and deep-seated rock slide shear zones. Diffuse or localized rock damage have a primary influence on rock properties (strength, elastic moduli, hydraulic and electric properties) and their evolution across multiple temporal scales spanning from geological times to highly dynamic phenomena as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides. In subcritical stress conditions, damage accumulation results in brittle creep processes key to the long-term evolution of geophysical, geomorphological and geo-engineering systems.
Damage and progressive failure processes must be considered to understand the time-dependent hydro-mechanical behaviour of faults (e.g. stick-slip vs asesismic creep), volcanic systems and slopes (e.g. slow rock slope deformation vs catastrophic rock slides), as well as the response of rock masses to stress perturbations induced by artificial excavations (tunnels, mines) and static or dynamic loadings. At the same time, damage processes control the brittle behaviour of the upper crust and are strongly influenced by intrinsic rock properties (strength, fabric, porosity, anisotropy), geological structures and their inherited damage, as well as by the evolving pressure-temperature with increasing depth and by fluid pressure, transport properties and chemistry. However, many complex relationships between these factors and rock damage are yet to be understood.
In this session we will bring together researchers from different communities interested in a better understanding of rock damage processes and consequence. We welcome innovative contributions on experimental studies (both in the laboratory and in situ), continuum / micromechanical analytical and numerical modelling, and applications to fault zones, reservoirs, slope instability and landscape evolution, and engineering applications. Studies adopting novel approaches and combined methodologies are particularly welcome.
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