Acta Geochimica

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 153–170 | Cite as

Limestone mechanical deformation behavior and failure mechanisms: a review

  • Wei Li
  • Xianjin An
  • Heping Li
Original Article


In this paper, several mechanical deformation curves of limestone are reviewed, and the effects of temperature, confining pressure, and fluid are discussed. Generally, Mohr–Coulomb is used for limestone brittle fracture. The characteristic of low temperature cataclastic flow and the conditions and constitutive equations of intracrystal plastic deformation such as dislocation creep, diffusion creep, and superplastic flow are discussed in detail. Specifically, from the macroscopic and microscopic view, inelastic compression deformation (shear-enhanced compaction) of large porosity limestone is elaborated. Compared with other mechanics models and strength equations, the dual porosity (macroporosity and microporosity) model is superior and more consistent with experimental data. Previous research has suffered from a shortage of high temperature and high pressure limestone research; we propose several suggestions to avoid this problem in the future: (1) fluid-rock interaction research; (2) mutual transition between natural conditions and laboratory research; (3) the uniform strength criterion for shear-enhanced compaction deformation; (4) test equipment; and (5) superplastic flow mechanism research.


Mechanical deformation Brittle fracture Ductility failure Strength criterion 



The paper is supported by Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences under Grant XDB18010401, and 135 Program of the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of High-temperature and High-pressure Study of the Earth’s InteriorInstitute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of SciencesGuiyangChina
  2. 2.State Engineering Technology Institute for Karst Desertfication ControlGuiyangChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.School of Karst ScienceGuizhou Normal UniversityGuiyangChina

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