A pheonomenological constitutive equation can serve as a basis for modeling and classifying mass-movement processes. The equation is derived using the principles of continuum mechanics and several simplifying assumptions about mass-movement behavior. These assumptions represent idealizations of field behavior, but they appear higly justifiable in light of the geomorphological insight that can be gained through modeling application of a mathematically tractable constitutive equation. The equation represents coupled pressure-dependent plastic yield and nonlinear viscous flow deformation components. The plastic yield component is a generalization of the Coulomb criterion to three-dimensional stress states, and the effect of pore-water pressures is accounted for by treating normal stresses as effective stresses. The nonlinear viscous flow components is a dimensionally homogeneous form of a three-dimensional power-law equation. Straightforward laboratory and field experiment experiments can be used to estimate all plastic and viscous parameters in the constitutive equation. Reduction of the three-dimensional constitutive equation to two-and one-dimensional forms shows that it embodies, as special cases, many other constitutive models for mass movement. These include models of creeping slumping, sliding, and flowing types of deformation. The equation may, therefore, serve as a conceptual basis for rheological classification of diverse mass-movement pheonomena. (Author)

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  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Chicago Press

    1427 E. 60th Street
    Chicago, IL  United States  60637-2954
  • Authors:
    • Iverson, R M
  • Publication Date: 1985-3

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 143-160
  • Serial:
    • Journal of Geology
    • Volume: 93
    • Issue Number: 2
    • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
    • ISSN: 0009-3920

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00395411
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1985 12:00AM