Scaling of fracture and faulting of ice on earth

  • Weiss J
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The scaling properties of fracture and faulting of ice on Earth are reviewed. Numerous evidences for the scaling of fracture and faulting of ice are given, including self-affine fracture surfaces, fractal fracture networks at small (laboratory) and large (geophysical) scales, power law distributions of fracture lengths or of fragment sizes within fault gouges. These scaling laws are discussed in terms of the underlying mechanics. Scaling of the observables associated with fracture and faulting argues for the scale invariance of the fracture and faulting processes and indicates that small scales cannot be arbitrarily disconnected from large scales. Consequently, quantitative links between scales cannot be performed through classical homogenization procedures. Scaling can also induce scale effects on different mechanical parameters such as fracture energy, strength or stiffness. Although scaling is ubiquitous for the fracture of ice on Earth, important exceptions exist such as the nucleation of microcracks or the crevassing of glaciers. These exceptions are stressed and discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Faulting
  • Fractal
  • Fracture
  • Fragmentation
  • Glacier
  • Ice
  • Scale effect
  • Scaling properties
  • Sea ice

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  • Jérôme Weiss

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