A threshold stress for pressure solution creep in rock salt: Model predictions vs. observations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


At low deviatoric stress, flow of rock salt is expected to be controlled by pressure
solution creep. This requires a fluid phase to be present in grain boundaries in the form of
adsorbed grain boundary films or a dynamically wetting island-channel structure. However,
whether such structures can persist at low stress or will be eliminated by healing phenomena
is open to question. In this study, a model is derived describing a threshold stress for pressure
solution, below which healing occurs, and creep is stopped. The results predict that pressure
solution creep in rock salt, at depths up to 3 km, is inhibited below a deviatoric stress of 0.07
to 0.7 or at most 0.90 MPa. When deviatoric stresses in rock salt drop below this threshold
stress, a decrease in strain rate from ~10−13 to 10−18 s−1 is expected, due to a switch to
dislocation creep. The model needs to be tested against CT experiments or optical
observations on grain boundary behavior under stress, and against confined creep tests at
very low deviatoric stress, as far as technically feasible. If confirmed, the effect of this threshold
stress needs to be considered in future numerical studies of flow in rock salt.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Mechanical Behavior of Salt X
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Conference on the Mechanical Behavior of Salt (SaltMech X), Utrecht, The Netherlands, 06-08 July 2022
EditorsJ.H.P. de Bresser, M.R. Drury, P. A. Fokker, M. Gazzani, S.J.T. Hangx, A.R. Niemeijer, C.J. Spiers
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781003295808
ISBN (Print)9781032282206
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2022
Event10th Conference on the Mechanical Behavior of Salt - Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 20228 Jul 2022


Conference10th Conference on the Mechanical Behavior of Salt
Abbreviated titleSaltMech X


Dive into the research topics of 'A threshold stress for pressure solution creep in rock salt: Model predictions vs. observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this