Damage zones around en echelon dike segments in porous sandstone

Ram Weinberger*, Vladimir Lyakhovsky, Gidon Baer, Amotz Agnon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We investigate arrays of en echelon dike segments and their associated deformation in porous sandstone to infer the segmentation mechanism and the state of stress during dike emplacement. The en echelon arrays are interpreted as breakdown segments of planar parent dikes that propagated from greater depth under mixed-mode conditions. Typically, an array consists of either continuous nonoverlapping stepped segments (offset smaller than segment thickness) or overlapping connected segments (offset larger than segment thickness). The deformation associated with the nonoverlapping stepped segment arrays consists of newly documented fan-like patterns of deformation bands (lamellae of crushed detrital quartz grains), whereas the overlapping connected segment arrays consists of net-like patterns of deformation bands. Thus the patterns of deformation are related to offset geometry and are likely to be diagnostic of the states of stress. We simulated the stress and deformation fields around interacting breakdown segments by applying a continuum damage mechanics model. The simulation results mainly illustrate the stress dependence of the damage distribution and the sensitivity of the damage distribution to the geometry of the segment offset and the mutuality of segment propagation. By changing the applied stress and by controlling the segment tip growth, symmetric and asymmetric distributions of damage were produced. We describe which aspects of the generated damage zones satisfactorily correlate with field observations. Damage mechanics simulations are useful tools for studying the state of stress during dike emplacement.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1999JB900361
Pages (from-to)3115-3133
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue numberB2
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2000


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