Articles | Volume 12, issue 9
Solid Earth, 12, 2109–2126, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-2109-2021
Solid Earth, 12, 2109–2126, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-12-2109-2021
Research article
23 Sep 2021
Research article | 23 Sep 2021

Micromechanisms leading to shear failure of Opalinus Clay in a triaxial test: a high-resolution BIB–SEM study

Lisa Winhausen et al.

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Cited articles

Allirot, D., Boehler, J. P., and Sawczuk, A.: Irreversible deformations of an anisotropic rock under hydrostatic pressure, Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Geomech. Abstr., Pergamon, 14, 77–83, 1977. 
Amann, F., Button, E. A., Evans, K. F., Gischig, V. S., and Blümel, M.: Experimental study of the brittle behavior of clay shale in rapid unconfined compression, Rock Mech. Rock Eng., 44, 415–430, 2011. 
Amann, F., Kaiser, P., and Button, E. A.: Experimental study of brittle behavior of clay shale in rapid triaxial compression, Rock Mech. Rock Eng., 45, 21–33, 2012. 
Amann, F., Wild, K. M., Loew, S., Yong, S., Thoeny, R., and Frank, E.: Geomechanical behaviour of Opalinus Clay at multiple scales: results from Mont Terri rock laboratory (Switzerland), in: Mont Terri Rock Laboratory, 20 Years, Birkhäuser, Cham., 153–173, 2018. 
Aristorenas, G. V.: Time-dependent behavior of tunnels excavated in shale, Doctoral dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 553 pp., 1992. 
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Short summary
An experimentally deformed sample of Opalinus Clay (OPA), which is being considered as host rock for nuclear waste in Switzerland, was studied by electron microscopy to image deformation microstructures. Deformation localised by forming micrometre-thick fractures. Deformation zones show dilatant micro-cracking, granular flow and bending grains, and pore collapse. Our model, with three different stages of damage accumulation, illustrates microstructural deformation in a compressed OPA sample.