Effect of solid impurity on creep behavior of salt rocks of the Hormoz formation

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 The University of Tehran

2 Associated Prof at The University of Tehran

3 Assistant professor of Geology in university of Tehran

4 The University of Amirkabir

Abstract

Salt rocks have one of the most complex behaviors among different rock types due to their creep behavior.  Creep in rocks can cause a lot of undesired displacenments imposing tremendeous rehabilitation and maintenance costs to the projects.  Creep depends on many factors such as rock type, stress level, and boundary conditions in order for rock to move freely.  Amongst intrinsic factors in the rock type, the impurity of salt samples (either in gas, liquid, and/or solid form) is one of the least studied factors. This study aims to present the influence of impurity on the creep behavior of the salt rocks of the Hormuz series, as the case study. This series is one of the oldest evaporitic deposits in the world resulted in more than 350 salt domes in Iran and other parts of the Middle East. Unfortunately, there has been no comprehensive rock mechanics study on the Hormuz salt rocks so far. In this study, a few recovered cores were obtained and prepared from the exploration boreholes drilled in this formation, and the creep parameters were determined using laboratory tests. Also, the effect of impurity percentage on the creep properties of the Hormuz salt rocks was investigated. Since in salt rock masses the purity percentage is different, impurity affects the creep behavior. The tested samples were categorized into seven different groups, based on the quantity of the impurity, which consists mainly of anhydrite and quartzite. Laboratory tests showed that the uniaxial compressive and tensile strength values increase by increasing the solid impurity in the samples. In contrast, the maximum and instantaneous strains reduce by increasing the percentage of impurities in different stages of the creep test. Increasing the amount of impurity in pure samples led to increasing Burger's parameters. Also, it was observed that obtaining creep parameters from laboratory test results with mathematical approximation method had fewer errors compared to the manual method explained by Goodman. This is worth for the development of underground mining operations in salt structures. Accurate recognition of creep properties might have a considerable impact on the design as well.In the present study, the effect of impurity percentage is investigated on the creep properties of Hormuz salt rock. Because in salt rock masses, purity percentage is different, impurity and its amounts affects creep behavior. The tested samples were categoried into seven different groups based on the quantity of the impurity (which consists mainly of anhydrite and quartzite). Laboratory tests showed that the uniaxial compressive strength and tensile strength increase by increasing solid impurity in the samples. In contrast, the maximum strain and instantaneous strain reduce by increasing the percentage of impurities in different stages of creep test. Increasing amount of impurity in pure sample led to increasing Burger's parameters. Also it was observed that obtaining creep parameters from laboratory test results with mathematical approximation method has less error than the manual method explained by Goodman. This might be worth noticing because for development of underground mining operations in relation with salt structures, accurate recognition of creep properties might have considerable impact on the design.

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