06 Oct 2022
06 Oct 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

New ring shear deformation apparatus for three-dimensional multiphase experiments: First results

Shae McLafferty, Haley Bix, Kyle Bogatz, and Jacqueline E. Reber Shae McLafferty et al.
  • Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011, USA

Abstract. Multiphase deformation, where a solid and fluid phase deform simultaneously, play a crucial role in a variety of geological hazards, such as landslides, glacial slip, and the transition from earthquakes to slow slip. In all these examples a continuous, viscous or fluid-like phase is mixed with a granular or brittle phase where both phases deform simultaneously when stressed. Understanding the interaction between the phases and how they will impact deformation dynamics is essential to improve hazard assessments for a wide variety of geo-hazards. Here, we present the design and first experimental results from a ring shear deformation apparatus capable of deforming multiple phases simultaneously. The experimental design allows for three dimensional observations during deformation in addition to unlimited shear strain, controllable normal force, and a variety of boundary conditions. To impose shear deformation, either the experimental chamber or lid rotate around its central axis while the other remains stationary. Normal and pulling force data are collected with force gauges located on the lid of the apparatus and between the pulling motor and the experimental chamber. Experimental materials are chosen to match the light refraction index of the experimental chamber, such that 3D observations can be made throughout the experiment with the help of a laser light sheet. We present experimental results where we deform hydropolymer orbs and cubes (brittle phase) and Carbopol® hydropolymer gel (fluid phase). Preliminary results show variability in force measurements and deformation styles between solid and fluid end member experiments. The ratio of solids to fluids and their relative competencies in multiphase experiments control deformation dynamics, which range from stick-slip to creep. The presented experimental strategy has the potential to shed light on multi-phase processes associated with multiple geo-hazards.

Shae McLafferty et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1004', Michael Rudolf, 29 Nov 2022 reply

Shae McLafferty et al.

Shae McLafferty et al.


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Short summary
Multiple geologic hazards, such as landslides and earthquakes, arise when solids and fluids coexist and deform together. We designed an experimental apparatus that allows to observe such deformation in 3D. The first results show how fluids and solids deform and break at the same time allowing us to study the impact of both materials on deformation distribution and speed. Making these processes visible has the potential to improve risk assessments associated with geological hazards.