Differential stress magnitudes during regional deformation and metamorphism

upper bound imposed by tensile fracturing.

M. A. Etheridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

187 Citations (Scopus)


Veins occupying tensile fractures are a common feature of metamorphic rocks of all grades. It can be shown in many cases that such veins are synmetamorphic and that they underwent repeated cycles of fracturing and healing throughout deformation and foliation development. Theoretical failure models have predicted that tensile failure is limited to differential stress <4 times the tensile strength of the material, and this condition can therefore be used to place an upper bound on differential stress intensities during deformation and foliation development where they are concurrent with vein formation. The tensile strengths of rocks are generally <1MPa, and in the presence of a high temperature metamorphic fluid, a value of 5MPa may be more reasonable, due to subcritical crack growth. It is thus concluded that differential stress intensities during crustal orogenesis will be <40MPa, and they may be lower than 20MPa.-Author

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

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