Izvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth

, Volume 55, Issue 6, pp 879–885 | Cite as

Microcracks in Basalt and Tonalite at Friction

  • V. I. Vettegren
  • A. V. PonomarevEmail author
  • R. I. Mamalimov
  • I. P. Shcherbakov
  • K. Arora
  • D. Srinagesh
  • R. K. Chadha

Abstract—The growth rate and size of microcracks formed in the surface layer of basalt and tonalite (granodiorite) at friction are studied using luminescence. It is found that upon breaking of crystal lattices of labradorite and quartz contained in these rocks, triboluminescence signals arise. Each signal corresponds to an embryo microcrack whose surface contains electronically excited free radicals ≡Si–O, Fe3+ ions, and electron traps. The average growth rate of embryo microcracks in basalt varies from ~0.6 to ~1 km/s and in tonalite, from ~ 0.7 to ~1.3 km/s. The sizes of embryo microcracks in basalt range within ~3 to ~5.5 μm and in tonalite from ~3.5 to ~6.5 μm.


luminescence embryo microcracks electron traps triboluminescence 



We are grateful to M.A. Matveev for the petrographic description of thin sections, M.A. Krasnova and D.E. Beloborodov for measuring the velocities of ultrasonic waves in the samples. Z.-U.Ya. Maybuk and A.An. Khromov prepared the disks and rods of the studied rocks for the experiments. This study was started in 2018 with the joint support from the Russian Science Foundation and DST (India) under project no. 16-47-02003 and from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 16-05-00137) and was completed in partial fulfillment of the government tasks (determination and analysis of spectra, description and interpretation of data, technical measurements).


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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. I. Vettegren
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. V. Ponomarev
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. I. Mamalimov
    • 1
    • 2
  • I. P. Shcherbakov
    • 1
  • K. Arora
    • 3
  • D. Srinagesh
    • 3
  • R. K. Chadha
    • 3
  1. 1.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, Russian Academy of SciencesSt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.CSIR: National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) TelanganaIndia

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