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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717


TARASOV, B.G.. Fan-structure shear rupture mechanism as a source of shear rupture rockbursts. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.10, pp. 773-784. ISSN 2411-9717.

This paper proposes the further development of a recently identified shear rupture mechanism (fan mechanism) that elucidates a paradoxical feature of hard rocks - the possibility of shear rupture propagation through a highly confined intact rock mass at shear stresses that can be significantly less than frictional strength. In the fan mechanism, failure is associated with consecutive creation of small slabs (known as 'domino blocks') from the intact rock in the rupture tip, driven by a fan-shaped domino structure representing the rupture head. The fan head combines such unique features as extremely low shear resistance, self-sustaining stress intensification, and self-unbalancing conditions. Consequently, the failure process caused by the mechanism is inevitably spontaneous and violent. Physical and mathematical models explain unique and paradoxical features of the mechanism, which can be generated in primary ruptures and segmented faults. The fan mechanism provides a novel point of view for understanding the nature of spontaneous failure processes, including shear rupture rockbursts. The process explains, in particular, features of shear rupture rockbursts such as activation at great depths, generation of new shear ruptures in intact rock mass, nucleation of hypocentres at significant distances from the excavation, shear rupture development at low shear stresses, and abnormal rupture violence.

Keywords : rock strength; failure at confined compression; shear rupture mechanism; structure of shear rupture; conditions of instability; physical model; mathematical model; shear rupture rockburst.

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