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Can weathering improve the toughness of a fractured rock? A case study using the San Giacomo granite

Cuccuru, Stefano and Casini, Leonardo and Oggiano, Giacomo and Cherchi, Gian Piero (2012) Can weathering improve the toughness of a fractured rock? A case study using the San Giacomo granite. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, Vol. 71 (3), p. 557-567. eISSN 1435-9537. Article.

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DOI: 10.1007/s10064-012-0416-9


The physical–mechanical behaviour of the weathered San Giacomo granite, Sardinia, has been investigated using a combination of physical–mechanical tests and microstructural analysis. Fieldwork and microscopy suggest a pervasive microfracture system developed on a pre-existing magmatic quartz anisotropy. Alteration indices, chemical analyses and mineralogy indicate that the yellow staining is produced by the circulation of oxygen-rich rainwater through microfractures in the rock, resulting in the oxidation of biotites. Apart from the obvious modification of the original grey colouring, the precipitation of Fe-oxides and hydroxides has welded fractures together, leading to the partial recovery of the physical–mechanical properties previously compromised due to microfracturing.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:7384
Uncontrolled Keywords:Weathering, microfractures, Quartz LPO, granite, Corsica–Sardinia batholith
Subjects:Area 04 - Scienze della terra > GEO/03 Geologia strutturale
Divisions:001 Università di Sassari > 01-a Nuovi Dipartimenti dal 2012 > Scienze della Natura e del Territorio
Deposited On:16 Apr 2012 09:51

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