Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Michael R. Gross

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Grenville Draper

Third Advisor's Name

Dean Whitman

Date of Defense



Joints as opening-mode fractures play important roles as indicators of tectonic stress fields and as pathways for underground fluid flow. This thesis analytically investigates the relationships among cross joint geometry, orientations and ratios of remote principal stresses, and fluid pressure. Results show that main trends of cross joints are perpendicular to the least far field stresses during cross joint formation, and cross joint paths can be used to determine relative magnitudes of remote principal stresses. Based on the theoretical derivation, cross joint geometries are grouped into five main categories: curving-parallel, curving-perpendicular, quasi-curving-parallel, quasi-curving-perpendicular and non-curving geometries. By introducing the concepts of effective stress and effective remote principal stress ratio, it is demonstrated that connectivity between cross joints and the pre-existing joint is improved for joints that form under relatively high pore pressures.




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Included in

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