Rheology (Tuesday*, 12:00 – 13:30, PR2), MGPH1.1.1, MGPH1.1.2
Rheology is the branch of geophysics dealing with the behaviour of minerals and rocks at different
pressure-temperature conditions. Mostly, with rheology, a word of Greek origin, scientists describe
the study of deformation and flow of matter. In other words, rheology can also be used as a
synonym for physical Earth material science and it is closely related to solid-state physics. This
course will deal with elastic, plastic, and viscous behaviour of rocks, as well as brittle deformation
and creep. Students will also deal with deformation in terms of the continuum approach to rheology,
i.e. discussing how, e.g. time and temperature influence deformation and flow, as well as in terms of
the microphysical approach to rheology, i.e. dealing with lattice processes. Doing so, with this
course students will be provided with the physical background for classes and studies dealing e.g.
with seismology, thermal problems, deformation and flow or other geo-processes, some of which
may be coupled with each other.
Practical work will include the discussion and preparation of a ”glossary of rheology” during
lectures, seminar talks on specific topics related to rheology, and laboratory measurements of
rheological parameters like viscosity, friction, and cohesion.
16.10. Organisational matters
23.10. Stress and strain, elasticity
30.10. Plasticity (failure, ductile flow)
06.11. Viscosity (Newtonian and non-Newtonian)
13.11. Laboratory measurements: concepts and instruments
27.11. The short time scale I: seismic events (stick-slip, ...)
04.12. The short time scale II: seismic events (stick-slip, ...)
11.12. Influence of temperature on deformation
18.12. Presentations (10 to 15 min. each)
08.01. Basics of deformation on the micro-scale
15.01. Creep I (diffusion creep)
22.01. Creep II (dislocation creep)
29.01. Phase transformations
There are two textbooks, which deal with many important aspects of rheology:
Ranalli, G. (1986): Rheology of the Earth. Allen & Unwin, 366pp
Karato, S.I. (2008): Deformation of Earth materials. Cambridge University Press, 463pp
As a pre-requisite for the oral examination in MGPH1.1.1 or MGPH1.1.2, each student will do the following:
previously, we figured out three keywords and key-hypotheses/questions for each lecture. For the keywords,
explanation will be needed, such that we develop a glossary of rheology. For the hypotheses/questions we
need discussion/answers. This will be done in oral presentations and related discussions, which also should
summarize some key-content of the class. Details will be discussed on the 16th of October.
Language can be German or English, upon decision among participants.
*Because of my involvement in the ”Ringvorlesung” we may not be able to meet on all Tuesdays. Thus, we may need
to fix a few individual dates for lectures/discussions. For the practical work measurement of rheological properties) in
our analogue experimental laboratory we will fix individual dates and work in small groups.