Experimental results in the published literature show that at low normal stress the shear stress required to slide one rock over another varies widely between experiments. This is because at low stress rock friction is strongly dependent on surface roughness. At high normal stress that effect is diminished and the friction is nearly independent of rock type. If the sliding surfaces are separated by gouge composed of Montmorillonite or vermiculite the friction can be very low. ?? 1978 Birkha??user Verlag.