Bulk dissipation in partially molten peridotite

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The emerging capability of our ANU Rock Physics laboratory for the testing of cylindrical rock specimens in both flexural and torsional oscillation provides an exciting opportunity to study the partial relaxation of the bulk modulus (incompressibility) associated with phase transformations that involve a volume change. In partially molten upper-mantle materials the small melt fraction is typically accommodated within a network of interconnected grain-edge tubes of triangular cross-section as shown in the picture.

The student would be involved in the preparation of suitable synthetic rock specimens and their mechanical testing with flexural oscillation methods in search of the modulus relaxation and dissipation associated with reversible stress-induced melting/crystallisation in such partially molten material. The findings will help with the interpretation of seismological compressional wave speed/attenuation models for the Earth.

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