Rupture cascades in a discrete element model of a porous sedimentary rock

Ferenc Kun, Imre Varga, Sabine Lennartz-Sassinek, Ian G. Main

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the scaling properties of the sources of crackling noise in a fully dynamic numerical model of sedimentary rocks subject to uniaxial compression. The model is initiated by filling a cylindrical container with randomly sized spherical particles that are then connected by breakable beams. Loading at a constant strain rate the cohesive elements fail, and the resulting stress transfer produces sudden bursts of correlated failures, directly analogous to the sources of acoustic emissions in real experiments. The source size, energy, and duration can all be quantified for an individual event, and the population can be analyzed for its scaling properties, including the distribution of waiting times between consecutive events. Despite the nonstationary loading, the results are all characterized by power-law distributions over a broad range of scales in agreement with experiments. As failure is approached, temporal correlation of events emerges accompanied by spatial clustering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 14 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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