Propagation of a shear band in sandstone

J. J. Riedel, Joseph F Labuz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Closed-loop servo-controlled experiments were conducted to investigate the development of a shear band in Berea sandstone at various confining pressures. The tests were performed with the University of Minnesota Plane-Strain Apparatus, which was designed to allow the shear band to develop in an unrestricted manner. Measured load and displacements provided estimates of the stress and deformation states whereby dilatancy and friction were evaluated prior to localization. Experiments were stopped at various stages of shear-band development within the strain-softening regime. The specimens displayed a progression of deformation from inception, where the shear band was characterized by a high density of intragranular microcracks and crushed grains, to the tip where the intragranular microcracks were significantly less dense and separated by intact grains. Decreased slip deformation towards the tip of the shear band indicated that localization developed and propagated in plane. Thin-section microscopy showed porosity increase within the shear band was 3-4 grain diameters wide. Increased porosity did not extend beyond the tip of the shear band. A cohesive zone model of shear fracture, used to examine the stress field near the tip, showed similarities to principal compressive stress orientations interpreted from intragranular microcracks. Thus, propagation of the shear band could be associated with in-plane mode II fracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1299
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Dilatancy
  • Friction
  • Plane strain
  • Process zone
  • Shear band
  • Shear fracture


Dive into the research topics of 'Propagation of a shear band in sandstone'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this