Cutting Edge > Structural Geology > Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012 > Teaching Activities > The Mohr stress circle: Determining stress and stress states

The Mohr stress circle: Determining stress and stress states

Seth C. Kruckenberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Summary

The goal of this exercise is to reinforce concepts discussed in lecture on the topic of stress and give students a hands on intuition of the relationships between the principal stresses, the normal and shear stresses, and the interaction of these quantaties on planes of varying orientation. The Mohr circle provides a graphical construction of stress equations and their systematic variation which is both practical and intuitive.

Context

Audience

Undergraduate required course in Structural Geology

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students will need to have a basic understanding of the Mohr circle construction from prior reading and/or lectures. In this lab, students use the Mohr circle to determine a variety of stress values for different initial known conditions, with applications to structural geology.

How the activity is situated in the course

This exercise is part of a sequence of in-class exercises that reinforce concepts from the reading and lecture throughout the semester.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

The goal of this lab is to reinforce concepts discussed in lecture on the topic of stress and give students a hands on intuition of the relationships between the principal stresses, the normal and shear stresses, and the interaction of these quantaties on planes of varying orientation.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

In addition to the concepts of the Mohr stress circle emphasized, this exercise requires students to conceptualize spatial relationships between planar surfaces and vectors, and integrate analytical methods with specific structural or tectonic problems.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description and Teaching Materials

The Mohr stress circle: Determining stress and stress states (Acrobat (PDF) 3.8MB May4 12)



Teaching Notes and Tips

Assessment

References and Resources

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