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Fault stability inferred from granite sliding experiments at hydrothermal conditions

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

Seismicity on crustal faults is concentrated in the depth interval 1-3 to 12-15 km. Tse and Rice (1986) suggested that the lower bound on seismicity is due to a switch with increasing temperature from velocity weakening (destabilizing) to velocity strengthening (stabilizing) friction. New data is presented from sliding experiments on granite at elevated T (23?? to 600??C) plus elevated PH2O(100 MPa). Results show velocity strengthening at room temperature, but velocity weakening from 100?? to 350??C (except at 250??). From 350?? to 600?? there are systematic trends from velocity weakening to strong velocity strengthening, and from high to low friction; neither trend was seen in tests on dry granite. The velocity dependence data imply the potential for unstable slip in the interval 100?? to 350??. Using a geotherm to map temperature to depth, this interval closely matches the observed earthquake distribution. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fault stability inferred from granite sliding experiments at hydrothermal conditions
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
18
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1991
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
609
Last page:
612
Number of Pages:
4