Numerical and experimental study on progressive failure of marble

Robina H.C. Wong, M. R. Jiao, Kam Tim Chau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents a framework for numerical simulations based upon micromechanical parameters in modeling progressive failures of heterogeneous rock specimens under compression. In our numerical simulations, a Weibull distribution of the strength and elastic properties of the finite elements is assumed, and the associated Weibull parameters are estimated in terms of microstructural properties, such as crack size distribution and grain size, through microscopic observations of microcracks. The main uncertainty in this procedure lies on the fact that various ways can be used to formulate a "microcrack size distribution" in relating to the Weibull parameters. As one possible choice, the present study uses the number of counted cracks per unit scanned volume per grain size to formulate the crack distributions. Finally, as a tool, the Rock Failure Process Analysis code (RFPA2D) is adopted for simulating the progressive failure and microseismicity of heterogeneous rocks by using an elastic-damage finite-element approach. To verify our framework, compression tests on marble specimens are conducted, and the measured acoustic emissions (AE) are compared with those predicted by the numerical simulations. The mode of failure, compressive strength and AE pattern of our simulations basically agree with experimental observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1787-1801
Number of pages15
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2006


  • Acoustic emissions
  • Crack distributions
  • Heterogeneous rocks
  • Microseismicity
  • Numerical simulation
  • Weibull parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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