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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Dr Fabian Wadsworth

Vasseur, Jérémie, Wadsworth, Fabian B., Lavallée, Yan & Dingwell, Donald B. (2016). Dynamic elastic moduli during isotropic densification of initially granular media. Geophysical Journal International 204(3): 1721-1728.

Author(s) from Durham


The elastic properties of homogeneous, isotropic materials are well constrained. However, in heterogeneous and evolving materials, these essential properties are less well-explored. During sintering of volcanic ash particles by viscous processes as well as during compaction and cementation of sediments, microstructure and porosity undergo changes that affect bulk dynamic elastic properties. Here using a model system of glass particles as an analogue for initially granular rock-forming materials, we have determined porosity and P-wave velocity during densification. Using these results, we test models for the kinetics of densification and the resultant evolution of the elastic properties to derive a quantitative description of the coupling between the kinetics of isotropic densification and the evolving dynamic elastic moduli. We demonstrate the power of the resultant model on a wide range of data for non-coherent sediments as well as sedimentary and volcanic rocks. We propose that such constraints be viewed as an essential ingredient of time-dependent models for the deformation of evolving materials in volcanoes and sedimentary basins.