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This case study is based on exercises developed by Dave Pollard and uses images and mapping from Delaney and Pollard (1981). Students explore mechanisms of dike emplacement by measuring dike thicknesses along two segments of a dike intruded into shale near Ship Rock, New Mexico and mapped by Paul Delaney. Students then compare the observed dike profiles to a mechanical modelthe solution for a crack filled with magma under uniform pressure. Using the equation for opening of the crack students estimate the driving stress (difference between the magma pressure and remote principal stress acting perpendicular to the dike plane) using several different estimates of the rock stiffness parameters. Students are then asked to observe how well their best-fit model fits the two dike profiles and to investigate the map further and hypothesize why the observed widths may deviate from the simple model. Deviations from the mechanical model can lead to discussions on mechanical interaction as well as brecciation and stoping.
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