About this Research Topic
Rock discontinuities, including bedding, fissures, joints, faults, are ubiquitous in the upper crust, exhibiting different scales ranging from mm to km. For consistency, we use the terminology ‘fracture' to represent all the above-mentioned discontinues hereafter. Rock fractures govern the physical, mechanical, and hydraulic responses of rock masses under various loading conditions. The failure of rock fractures causes both natural geological disasters such as rock slides and anthropogenic catastrophes such as induced earthquakes. However, rock fractures are inherently rough with stochastically distributed asperities, complicating the predictions of the geomechanical properties and permeability variation. Recently, with the growing demand for the construction of large-scale rock engineering projects, the physics, mechanics, and hydraulics of rock fractures have drawn considerable attention from scientists to practitioners.
The research topic aims to showcase state-of-the-art studies to improve our understanding of the fundamentals of physics and mechanics of rock fractures. It will benefit accurate assessment of the stability of large-scale rock engineering such as rock slopes, open-it mines, quarries, tunnels, caverns, underground mines, dams and hydro-ower stations, geothermal energy, and deep geological repository, as well as fault-instability induced seismicity. We welcome all original research and review articles associated with theories, laboratory experiments, field investigations, and computational methods within the scope of the research topic.
We welcome both review and original research on the physics and mechanics of rock fractures at various scales. Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
1. Physical and mechanical properties of rock fractures
2. Fracture morphology characterization
3. Observations and mechanism of faulting
4. Thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical coupling in rock fractures
5. Scale effect on rock fracture properties
6. Fault-instability-induced geological disasters
Keywords: Rock fracture, Physical behavior, Mechanical behavior, Faulting and seismicity, THMC coupling
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.