Weakening of Dunite by Serpentine Dehydration

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Science  08 Apr 1966:
Vol. 152, Issue 3719, pp. 196-198
DOI: 10.1126/science.152.3719.196


A shear press has been used to determine the mechanical behavior of serpentinized dunite and forsterite at normal pressures to 50 kilobars, temperatures to 900°C; and strain rates from 10-1 to 10-4 per second. The shear strength of dunite, containing less than 5 percent by volume of serpentine, is reduced by at least 30 percent as the temperature is raised from 300° to 520°C. Abundant kink bands develop at normal pressures above 35 kilobars at 27°C and at lower pressures as the temperature is increased.