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Shock-Induced Damage in Rocks: Application to Impact Cratering


Ai, Huirong (Anita) (2006) Shock-Induced Damage in Rocks: Application to Impact Cratering. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/39ZE-SY71.


Shock-induced damage beneath impact craters is studied in this work. Two representative terrestrial rocks, San Marcos granite and Bedford limestone, are chosen as test target. Impacts into the rock targets with different combinations of projectile material, size, impact angle, and impact velocity are carried out at cm scale in the laboratory.

Shock-induced damage and fracturing would cause large-scale compressional wave velocity reduction in the recovered target beneath the impact crater. The shock-induced damage is measured by mapping the compressional wave velocity reduction in the recovered target. A cm scale nondestructive tomography technique is developed for this purpose. This technique is proved to be effective in mapping the damage in San Marcos granite, and the inverted velocity profile is in very good agreement with the result from dicing method and cut open directly.

Both compressional velocity and attenuation are measured in three orthogonal directions on cubes prepared from one granite target impacted by a lead bullet at 1200 m/s. Anisotropy is observed from both results, but the attenuation seems to be a more useful parameter than acoustic velocity in studying orientation of cracks.

Our experiments indicate that the shock-induced damage is a function of impact conditions including projectile type and size, impact velocity, and target properties. Combined with other crater phenomena such as crater diameter, depth, ejecta, etc., shock-induced damage would be used as an important yet not well recognized constraint for impact history.

The shock-induced damage is also calculated numerically to be compared with the experiments for a few representative shots. The Johnson-Holmquist strength and failure model, initially developed for ceramics, is applied to geological materials. Strength is a complicated function of pressure, strain, strain rate, and damage. The JH model, coupled with a crack softening model, is used to describe both the inelastic response of rocks in the compressive field near the impact source and the tensile failure in the far field. The model parameters are determined either from direct static measurements, or from indirect numerical adjustment. The agreement between the simulation and experiment is very encouraging.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:damage and cracking; impact cratering; rocks; Shockwave
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Ahrens, Thomas J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Saleeby, Jason B. (chair)
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami
  • Clayton, Robert W.
  • Ahrens, Thomas J.
Defense Date:8 May 2006
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05262006-173355
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2116
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:01 Jun 2006
Last Modified:15 Apr 2020 17:12

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