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Roughness of stylolites: Implications of 3D high resolution topography measurements

Abstract : Stylolites are natural pressure-dissolution surfaces in sedimentary rocks. We present 3D high resolution measurements at laboratory scales of their complex roughness. The topography is shown to be described by a self-affine scaling invariance. At large scales, the Hurst exponent is $\zeta_1 \approx 0.5$ and very different from that at small scales where $\zeta_2 \approx 1.2$. A cross-over length scale at around $\L_c =1$~mm is well characterized. Measurements are consistent with a Langevin equation that describes the growth of a stylolitic interface as a competition between stabilizing long range elastic interactions at large scales or local surface tension effects at small scales and a destabilizing quenched material disorder.
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Jean Schmittbuhl, Francois Renard, Jean-Pierre Gratier, Renaud Toussaint. Roughness of stylolites: Implications of 3D high resolution topography measurements. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2005, 93 (23), pp.238501. ⟨10.1103/physrevlett.93.238501⟩. ⟨hal-00110558⟩



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