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Earth Systems 3209

Unit: 4
The Forces Within Earth

Reference:
Chapters 4, 15, 16, 19; Appendix A & B

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Unit 4:
Topic 3.1

Forces and Factors that affect Deformation

Focus on . . .
defining crustal deformation, force, and stress.
outlining and describing three types of deformation.
identifying and describing the forces that cause deformation.
identifying and describing the factors that affect deformation.
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Terminology associated with Crustal Deformation:
Crustal Deformation is associated with Internal Forces within Earth!

Crustal Deformation
General term that refers to all changes that occur to the original form
and/or size of a rock body.
It may also produce changes in the location and orientation of rocks.
Most crustal deformation occurs along plate tectonic margins.
Plate motions and the interactions along plate boundaries generate
tectonic forces that cause rock units to deform.

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Terminology associated with Crustal Deformation:
Force
anything that tends to put stationary objects in motion or change the
motion of moving bodies.
Stress
is defined as the amount of force applied to a given area.
Two types of stress;
1) Uniform equal stress in all directions.
2) Differential varying stress in different directions.
Strain
causes an irreversible change in the shape and size of a rock body.
Original configuration is not retained during deformation.
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Types of Crustal Deformation:
Differential Stresses:
Compressional
stresses that shorten a rock body
are compressional in nature

Tensional
stresses that elongate a rock body

Shear
stresses that cause sections of a
rock body or two separate rock
bodies to slide past one another

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Types of Crustal Deformation:
When rocks are subjected to stresses greater than their own
strength, they begin to deform, usually by folding, flowing, or
fracturing.

3 types of deformation:
1) Elastic Deformation - recoverable
2) Brittle Deformation - permanent
3) Ductile Deformation - permanent

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Types of Crustal Deformation:
3 types of deformation:
1) Elastic Deformation
stress is applied gradually and when the stress is removed the rock
will return to nearly its original size and shape.
elastic deformation is recoverable after stressing.
earthquakes result from stored elastic energy.
once the elastic limit is reached it either flows (ductile) or fractures
(brittle).

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Types of Crustal Deformation:
3 types of deformation:
2) Brittle Deformation
stress is applied gradually and when the rocks strength is exceeded
the rock will behave like a brittle solid where it will fracture and the
rock will not return to its original size and shape.
occurs near the surface where temperature and confining pressures
are lower.
brittle deformation is permanent.

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Types of Crustal Deformation:
3 types of deformation:
3) Ductile Deformation
stress is applied gradually and when the rocks strength is exceeded
the rock will flow in solid state and produce a change in the original
size and shape without fracturing.
occurs at great depths beneath Earths surface where temperature
and confining pressures are higher.
ductile deformation is permanent.
An example would be similar to a penny placed on a railway track
and flattened by a passing train. Metal is permanently changed.

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Factors that Affect Crustal Deformation:
The factors that influence the strength of a rock and
thus how it will deform include;
1) Temperature
2) Confining Pressure
3) Rock Type
4) Time

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Factors that Affect Crustal Deformation:
The factors that influence the strength of a rock
and thus how it will deform include;
1) Temperature
the colder the Earth materials, the more brittle
the deformation will be.

the warmer the Earth materials, the more


elastic or ductile the deformation will be.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador


Factors that Affect Crustal Deformation:
The factors that influence the strength of a rock
and thus how it will deform include;
2) Confining Pressure
confining pressure will only result in elastic or
ductile deformation at varied depths beneath
Earths surface.
brittle deformation typically occurs on the
surface when there is no confining pressure
from above.

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Factors that Affect Crustal Deformation:
The factors that influence the strength of a rock
and thus how it will deform include;
3) Rock Type
all rock types can be deformed.
however, sedimentary rocks could be more
easily deformed since they are softer.

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Factors that Affect Crustal Deformation:
The factors that influence the strength of a rock
and thus how it will deform include;
4) Time
rapid deformation tends to result in brittle
deformation.
slower deformation over longer periods of time
tends to result in elastic or ductile deformation.

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Example 1:

Which factors would cause a rock to deform by brittle


deformation ?

Time Temperature
(A) Shorter Colder
(B) Shorter Warmer
(C) Longer Colder
(D) Longer Warmer

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Example 2:

Which type of stress and faulting occurs at divergent


plate boundaries?

Stress Faulting
(A) shear normal
(B) shear reverse
(C) tension normal
(D) tension reverse

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Your Turn . . .
Take the time and complete the following questions . . .
(Solutions to follow)

Question:
Which rock type is most easily deformed by
stresses in Earths crust?
(A) igneous plutonic
(B) igneous volcanic
(C) metamorphic
(D) sedimentary

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Solutions . . .

Question:

Which rock type is most easily deformed by


stresses in Earths crust?
(A) igneous plutonic
(B) igneous volcanic
(C) metamorphic
(D) sedimentary

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Summary . . .
Overview of Points covered:
Crustal deformation is a direct result of stresses put on rocks.

3 types of stress include;


1) Tensional, 2) Compressional, 3) Shear

3 types of crustal deformation include;


1) Elastic, 2) Brittle, 3) Ductile

Factors affecting crustal deformation include;


1) Temperature, 2) Confining Pressure, 3) Rock Type, 4) Time

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador