Rock Fracture


Last Updated: September 2, 2017.

The Rock Fracture Knowledgebase is an online learning environment where students and professionals can come to find a wide variety of information about fractures in rocks, their mechanisms, and their properties.

The Knowledgebase currently consists of about 400 web pages, embedded with approximately 1000 figures, citing upwards of 300 references. The pages in the Knowledgebase are organized into a tree structure with three major branches: 'Fractures,' 'Mechanisms and Mechanics of Fractures,' and 'Properties of Fractures.' Within each branch, we hierarchically narrow down (branching out) to more specific concepts. For example, 'Fractures' are further discussed by types ('Joints,' 'Pressure Solution Seams,' etc.) and associations ('Fracture Zones,' 'Fracture Sets,' etc.).

Each web page follows the same layout. From top to bottom, you will see: navigation menu bar (discussed in the next paragraph), page title, discussion with figures, links to concepts further down the hierarchy (the 'Types of' section), and references. Clicking on a figure will open up another window and show the figure in higher resolution. Not all pages have the 'Types of' and 'Reference' sections.

The navigation menu bar provides:

  • A 'Home' dropdown with links to concepts up the hierarchy
  • A 'Contextual Menu' dropdown with links to the concepts mentioned in the current page
  • A link to the 'Table of Contents'
The navigation menu bar is useful in several ways. The 'Home' dropdown shows the path from the home page. It helps you figure out where you are, how you got there, how to get back to this specific spot at a later time, and gives options for jumping up the hierarchy. The 'Contextual Menu' provides shortcuts to related concepts pages outside the hierarchy.

Not surprisingly, the 'Home' and 'Contextual Menu' dropdowns are different for different pages. Let's use 'Splay Joints' as an example. Its 'Home' dropdown provides links to the home page, 'Fractures,' and 'Joints,' according to the hierarchy. Its 'Contextual Menu' dropdown contains links to 'Mechanisms and Mechanics of Splay Joints,' 'Splay (Kink) Angle Distribution,' and 'Scaling between Fault Length and Maximum Splay Length,' which are referenced in the page.

The 'Table of Contents' provides the tree hierarchical structure, with all the page titles and links, conveniently in one place. In addition, with the size of the Knowledgebase, it is quite likely that you will remember reading a page in the Knowledgebase but are unable to locate it again. The 'Table of Contents' is a good place to search the title using your browser's Find (Command F) function.

One last trick for navigating the Knowledgebase: All links that you have NOT visited are colored orange and all that you have visited are grey. This is both user- and browser-dependent, and will be based on how long your browser keeps history and whether your browsing history has been cleared. Nevertheless, the url color is quite reliable to indicate whether you have visited a page within the last month or so.

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