Quantifying the Rock Damage Intensity Controlled by Mineral Compositions: Insights from Fractal Analyses

Dinç Göğüş Ş. Ö., Avşar E., Develi K., Çalık A.

FRACTAL AND FRACTIONAL, vol.7, no.5, pp.1-18, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/fractalfract7050383
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, INSPEC, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-18
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Since each rock type represents different deformation characteristics, prediction of the damage beforehand is one of the most fundamental problems of industrial activities and rock engineering studies. Previous studies have predicted the stress–strain behaviors preceding rock failure; however, quantitative analyses of the progressive damage in different rocks under stress have not been accurately presented. This study aims to quantify pre-failure rock damage by investigating the stress-induced microscale cracking process in three different rock types, including diabase, ignimbrite, and marble, representing strong, medium-hard, and weak rock types, respectively. We demonstrate crack intensity at critical stress levels where cracking initiates (σci), propagates (σcd), and where failure occurs (σpeak) based on scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. Furthermore, the progression of rock damage was quantified for each rock type through the fractal analyses of crack patterns on these images. Our results show that the patterns in diabase have the highest fractal dimensions (DB) for all three stress levels. While marble produces the lowest DB value up to σci stress level, it presents greater DB values than those of ignimbrite, starting from the σcd level. This is because rock damage in ignimbrite is controlled by the groundmass, proceeding from such stress level. Rock texture controls the rock stiffness and, hence, the DB values of cracking. The mineral composition is effective on the rock strength, but the textural pattern of the minerals has a first-order control on the rock deformation behavior. Overall, our results provide a better understanding of progressive damage in different rock types, which is crucial in the design of engineering structures.