Introducing standardized field methods for fracture-focused surface process research

Eppes, Martha Cary; Rinehart, Alex; Aldred, Jennifer; Berberich, Samantha; Dahlquist, Maxwell P.; Evans, Sarah G.; Keanini, Russell; Laubach, Stephen E.; Moser, Faye; Morovati, Mehdi; Porson, Steven; Rasmussen, Monica; Shaanan, Uri

Rock fractures are a key contributor to a broad array of Earth surface processes due to their direct control on rock strength as well as rock porosity and permeability. However, to date, there has been no standardization for the quantification of rock fractures in surface process research. In this work, the case is made for standardization within fracture-focused research, and prior work is reviewed to identify various key datasets and methodologies. Then, a suite of standardized methods is presented as a starting “baseline” for fracture-based research in surface process studies. These methods have been shown in pre-existing work from structural geology, geotechnical engineering, and surface process disciplines to comprise best practices for the characterization of fractures in clasts and outcrops. This practical, accessible, and detailed guide can be readily employed across all fracture-focused weathering and geomorphology applications. The wide adoption of a baseline of data collected using the same methods will enable comparison and compilation of datasets among studies globally and will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the links and feedbacks between rock fracture and landscape evolution.

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Eppes, Martha Cary / Rinehart, Alex / Aldred, Jennifer / et al: Introducing standardized field methods for fracture-focused surface process research. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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