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Model for episodic flow of high-pressure water in fault zones before earthquakes

Geology

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Abstract

In this model for the evolution of large crustal faults, water originally from the country rock saturates the porous and permeable fault zone. During shearing, the fault zone compacts and water flows back into the country rock, but the flow is arrested by silicate deposition that forms low permeability seals. The fluid will be confined to seal-bounded fluid compartments of various sizes and porosity that are not hydraulically connected with each other. When the seal between two compartments is ruptured, an electrical streaming potential will be generated by the sudden movement of fluid from the high-pressure compartment to the low-pressure compartment. During an earthquake the width of the fault zone will increase by failure of the geometric irregularities on the fault. This newly created, porous and permeable, wider fault zone will fill with water, and the process described above will be repeated. Thus, the process is episodic with the water moving in and out of the fault zone, and each large earthquake should be preceded by an electrical and/or magnetic signal. -from Author

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Model for episodic flow of high-pressure water in fault zones before earthquakes
Series title:
Geology
Volume
21
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geology
First page:
303
Last page:
306
Number of Pages:
4