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Pressures in Tumuli: A Study of Tumuli FormationTumuli form via localized inflation in surface lava flows. These domed features have widths of 10-20 m, lengths of 10-150 m, and heights of 1-9 m. The axial fracture exposes a brittle crust overlying a ductilely deformed layer. The total crustal thickness is typically less than lm. Tumuli are observed on both terrestrial and martian lava flow surfaces, and provide insight on the flow formation processes and rates. Past studies have estimated the inflation pressure using a bending model for a circular, thin elastic plate, assuming small deflection (Rossi and Gudmundson, 1996). This formulation results in unrealistic pressures for some tumuli. We thus examine alternative models, including those with different shapes, bending of the ductile crust, large deflection, plastic deformation, and thick plate bending. Using the thickness of the ductile crust in the equations for thin, circular plates reduces most pressures to reasonable values. Alternative plate shapes do not cause a significant reduction in inflation pressure. Although the large deflection equations should be applicable based on the plate thickness to tumuli height ratios, they give even less realistic pressures. Tumuli with unrealistic pressures appear to have exceeded the critical bending moment, and have relatively thick crusts, requiring thick plate bending models.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hansen, James E.
(Black Hills State Univ. Spearfish, SD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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