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Dynamic Tensile Strength of Lunar Rock Types

Cohn, Stephen N. and Ahrens, Thomas J. (1981) Dynamic Tensile Strength of Lunar Rock Types. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 86 (B3). pp. 1794-1802. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/JB086iB03p01794.

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The dynamic tensile strengths of four rocks have been determined. A flat plate impact experiment is used to generate ∼1-μs-duration tensile stress pulses in rock samples by superposing rarefaction waves to induce fracture. A gabbroic anorthosite and a basalt were selected because they are the same rock types as occur on the lunar highlands and mare, respectively. Although these have dynamic tensile strengths which lie within the ranges 153–174 MPa and 157–179 –MPa, whereas Arkansas novaculite and Westerly granite exhibit dynamic tensile strengths of 67–88 MPa and 95–116 MPa, respectively, the effect of chemical weathering and other factors, which may affect application of the present results to the moon, have not been explicitly studied. The reported tensile strengths are based on a series of experiments on each rock where determination of incipient spallation is made by terminal microscopic examination. These data are generally consistent with previous determinations, at least one of which was for a significantly chemically altered (hydroxylated) but physically coherent rock. The tensile failure data do not bear a simple relation to compressive results and imply that any modeling involving rock fracture consider the tensile strength of igneous rocks under impulse loads distinct from the values for static tensile strength. Generally, the dynamic tensile strengths of nonporous igneous rocks range from ∼ 100 to 180 MPa, with the more basic, and even amphibole-bearing samples, yielding the higher values.

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Additional Information:Copyright 1981 by the American Geophysical Union. (Received October 4, 1979; revised July 9, 1980; accepted September 19, 1980.) Paper number 80B1328. We would like to thank Raymond Jeanloz for his comments on this manuscript, Joana Vizgirda for her assistance with petrographic analysis, and Dennis Grady and Hartmut Spetzler for supplying rock samples. This work was supported under NASA grant NGL 105-002-105. Contribution 3308, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.
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NASANGL 105-002-105
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3308
Issue or Number:B3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141104-144451015
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Official Citation:Cohn, S. N., and T. J. Ahrens (1981), Dynamic tensile strength of lunar rock types, J. Geophys. Res., 86(B3), 1794–1802, doi:10.1029/JB086iB03p01794.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51252
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:04 Nov 2014 23:00
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:08

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