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Dislocation theory applied to steady and transient creep

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In applications critical to the geological, materials, and engineering sciences, deformation occurs at strain rates too small to be accessible experimentally. Instead, extrapolations of empirical relationships are used, leading to epistemic uncertainties in predictions. To address these problems, we construct a new theory of the fundamental processes affecting dislocations: storage and recovery. We then validate our theory for olivine deformation. This model explains the empirical relationships among strain rate, applied stress, and dislocation density in disparate laboratory regimes. It predicts the previously unexplained dependence of dislocation density on applied stress in olivine. The predictions of our model for Earth conditions differ from extrapolated empirical relationships. For example, it predicts rapid, transient deformation in the upper mantle, consistent with recent measurements of post-glacial rebound.

This talk is part of the Bullard Laboratories Wednesday Seminars series.

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