Deformation Localization-A Review on the Maximum- Effective-Moment (MEM) Criterion

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Zheng Y.D. gives his sincerest thanks to Academician Ren Chishun for his support and encouragement, financially and spiritually. This study was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (41072071). Critical comments and constructive suggestions from an anonymous reviewer improved the manuscript greatly.

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    The essential difference in the formation of conjugate shear zones in brittle and ductile deformation is that the intersection angle between brittle conjugate faults in the contractional quadrants is acute (usually ~60°) whereas the angle between conjugate ductile shear zones is obtuse (usually 110°). The Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion, an experimentally validated empirical relationship, is commonly applied for interpreting the stress directions based on the orientation of the brittle shear fractures. However, the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion fails to explain the formation of the low-angle normal fault, high-angle reverse fault, and the conjugate strike-slip fault with an obtuse angle in the σ1 direction. Although it is ten years since the Maximum-Effective-Moment (MEM) criterion was first proposed, and increasingly solid evidence in support of it has been obtained from both observed examples in nature and laboratory experiments, it is not yet a commonly accepted model to use to interpret these anti-Mohr-Coulomb features that are widely observed in the natural world. The deformational behavior of rock depends on its intrinsic mechanical properties and external factors such as applied stresses, strain rates, and temperature conditions related to crustal depths. The occurrence of conjugate shear features with obtuse angles of ~110° in the contractional direction on different scales and at different crustal levels are consistent with the prediction of the MEM criterion, therefore ~110° is a reliable indicator for deformation localization that occurred at medium-low strain rates at any crustal levels. Since the strain–rate is variable through time in nature, brittle, ductile, and plastic features may appear within the same rock.

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ZHENG Yadong, ZHANG Qing, HOU Quanlin.2015. Deformation Localization-A Review on the Maximum- Effective-Moment (MEM) Criterion[J]. Acta Geologica Sinica(),89(4):1133-1152

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  • Received:March 23,2015
  • Revised:June 04,2015
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  • Online: August 14,2015
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