Why Do Freezing Rocks Break?

  title={Why Do Freezing Rocks Break?},
  author={Bernard Hallet},
  pages={1092 - 1093}
  • B. Hallet
  • Published 17 November 2006
  • Geology
  • Science
Contrary to common perception, the breaking of rocks is usually not caused by the expansion of water upon freezing. 
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The volumetric expansion of freezing pore water is widely assumed to be a major cause of rock fracture in cold humid regions, but data from experiments simulating natural freezing regimes indicate that bedrock fracture results instead from ice segregation, supporting a conceptual model in which ice segregation in near-surface permafrost leads progressively to rock fracture and heave. Expand
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Abstract Water was frozen in a slot made in a transparent material, and the resulting stresses in the material produced by the expansion of the ice were measured by use of the photoelastic effect.Expand
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The surface of ice exhibits the swath of phase-transition phenomena common to all materials and as such it acts as an ideal test bed of both theory and experiment. It is readily available,Expand