dilatancy theory | Energy Glossary

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dilatancy theory

1. n. [Geophysics]

A possible explanation for volume changes in rocks due to strain, such as microfracturing or cracking, and the accompanying change in the ratio of P- to S-wave velocity. Support for dilatancy theory comes in the form of porosity increases from 20 to 40% that have been measured in laboratory experiments using rock samples.

See: P-waveS-wave