Segment tip geometry of sheet intrusions, I: Theory and numerical models for the role of tip shape in controlling propagation pathways.

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


Download Preprint


Richard Walker , Tara Louise Stephens, Catherine Greenfield, Simon Philip Gill , David Healy, Sam Poppe


Inferences about sheet intrusion emplacement mechanisms have been built largely on field observations of intrusion tip zones: magmatic systems that did not grow beyond their observed state. Here we use finite element simulation of elliptical to superelliptical crack tips, representing observed natural sill segments, to show the effect of sill tip shape in controlling local stress concentrations, and the potential propagation pathways. Stress concentration magnitude and distribution is strongly affected by the position and magnitude of maximum tip curvature (\kappa_max). Elliptical tips concentrate stress in-plane with the sill, promoting coplanar growth. Superelliptical tips concentrate maximum tensile stress (\sigma_max) and shear stress out-of-plane of the sill, which may promote non-coplanar growth, vertical thickening, or coplanar viscous indentation. We find that [\sigma_max]=A*([\sqrt][\kappa_max]), where A is a constant. At short length-scales, blunted tips have locally large ; at longer length-scales, elliptical-tipped sills become more efficient at concentrating stress than blunt sills.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


curvature, igneous dikes, superellipse


Published: 2021-03-09 08:20

Last Updated: 2021-03-09 08:20


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Data Availability (Reason not available):
All supporting data will be made publicly available on acceptance of the peer-reviewed version of this submission via the University of Leicester Figshare portal

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.