Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Low Static Shear Modulus Along Foliation and Its Influence on the Elastic and Strength Anisotropy of Poorman Schist Rocks, Homestake Mine, South Dakota


We investigate the influence of foliation orientation and fine-scale folding on the static and dynamic elastic properties and unconfined strength of the Poorman schist. Measurements from triaxial and uniaxial laboratory experiments reveal a significant amount of variability in the static and dynamic Young’s modulus depending on the sample orientation relative to the foliation plane. Dynamic P-wave modulus and S-wave modulus are stiffer in the direction parallel to the foliation plane as expected for transversely isotropic mediums with average Thomsen parameters values 0.133 and 0.119 for epsilon and gamma, respectively. Static Young’s modulus varies significantly between 21 and 117 GPa, and a peculiar trend is observed where some foliated sample groups show an anomalous decrease in the static Young’s modulus when the symmetry axis (x3-axis) is oriented obliquely to the direction of loading. Utilizing stress and strain relationships for transversely isotropic medium, we derive the analytical expression for Young’s modulus as a function of the elastic moduli E1, E3, ν31, and G13 and sample orientation to fit the static Young’s modulus measurements. Regression of the equation to the Young’s modulus data reveals that the decrease in static Young’s modulus at oblique symmetry axis orientations is directly influenced by a low shear modulus, G13, which we attribute to shear sliding along foliation planes during static deformation that occurs as soon as the foliation is subject to shear stress. We argue that such difference between dynamic and static anisotropy is a characteristic of near-zero porosity anisotropic rocks. The uniaxial compressive strength also shows significant variability ranging from 21.9 to 194.6 MPa across the five sample locations and is the lowest when the symmetry axis is oriented 45° or 60° from the direction of loading, also a result of shear sliding along foliation planes during static deformation.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View