The Mohr stress circle: Determining stress and stress states
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This page first made public: Jun 1, 2012
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.
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.
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
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources