Dynamic properties of ash-flow tuffs



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Ash-flow tuff (ignimbrite) is a general term indicating consolidated deposits of volcanic ash flow; a flow of a mixture of gas and pyroclastic materials as products of explosive volcano eruptions (Smith, 1960). Two different ash-flow tuffs are studied in this research: 1. Topopah Spring Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and 2. the Bandelier Tuff at Pajarito Plateau, New Mexico. Various dynamic test parameters (e.g. confining pressure, shearing strain, etc) were studied with two existing devices: (1) the combined resonant column and torsional shear (RCTS) device, and (2) the free-free, unconfined, resonant column (URC) device. The effects of these parameters are evaluated for two different types of ash-flow tuffs. In addition, a Large Resonant Column (LgRC) device was developed and used to test the some tuffs from Yucca Mountain at larger strain amplitudes than possible with the RCTS and URC devices. Relationships between the linear and nonlinear dynamic properties and lithostratigraphic features were further investigated. Finally, potential problems related to sample disturbance and specimen size are considered based on comparisons of small-strain shear wave velocity (VS) values measured in the laboratory and in the field.