Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky, Brian Marker


  • Andrea ManconiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73568-9_81




Deformation. Change in size, shape, and/or volume of an object under the effect of internal or external forces.


In continuum mechanics, as well as in engineering applications, deformation is often referred to as the  strain induced when external forces are applied to a body (e.g.,  compression, tension, shearing, bending, and/or torsion). However, deformation can be also induced by intrinsic body forces (e.g., gravity), as well as by changes in the temperature or by chemical reactions (Jones 2009). A straightforward example of deformation is shown in Fig. 1, where a force is axially applied to a rod. The strain (ε) occurring along the rod axis can be calculated as the change in length Δ L with respect to the initial length:
$$ \varepsilon =\frac{\Delta L}{L_1}=\frac{L_2-{L}_1}{L_1} $$
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Hashiguchi K (2013) Elastoplasticity theory. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Jones RM (2009) Deformation theory of plasticity. Bull Ridge Corporation, BlacksburgGoogle Scholar
  3. Price DG, De Freitas MH (2009) Engineering geology: principles and practice. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesSwiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland