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The roles of time and displacement in velocity-dependent volumetric strain of fault zones

Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth

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Abstract

The relationship between measured friction??A and volumetric strain during frictional sliding was determined using a rate and state variable dependent friction constitutive equation, a common work balance relating friction and volume change, and two types of experimental faults: initially bare surfaces of Westerly granite and rock surfaces separated by a 1 mm layer of < 90 ??m Westerly granite gouge. The constitutive equation is the sum of a constant term representing the nominal resistance to sliding and two smaller terms: a rate dependent term representing the shear viscosity of the fault surface (direct effect), and a term which represents variations in the area of contact (evolution effect). The work balance relationship requires that ??A differs from the frictional resistance that leads to shear heating by the derivative of fault normal displacement with respect shear displacement, d??n ld??s. An implication of this relationship is that the rate dependence of d??n ld??s contributes to the rate dependence of ??A. Experiments show changes in sliding velocity lead to changes in both fault strength and volume. Analysis of data with the rate and state equations combined with the work balance relationship preclude the conventional interpretation of the direct effect in the rate and state variable constitutive equations. Consideration of a model bare surface fault consisting of an undeformable indentor sliding on a deformable surface reveals a serious flaw in the work balance relationship if volume change is time-dependent. For the model, at zero slip rate indentation creep under the normal load leads to time-dependent strengthening of the fault surface but, according to the work balance relationship, no work is done because compaction or dilatancy can only be induced by shearing. Additional tests on initially bare surfaces and gouges show that fault normal strain in experiments is time-dependent, consistent with the model. This time-dependent fault normal strain, which is not accounted for in the work balance relationship, explains the inconsistency between the constitutive equations and the work balance. For initially bare surface faults, all rate dependence of volume change is due to time dependence. Similar results are found for gouge. We conclude that ??A reflects the frictional resistance that results in shear heating, and no correction needs to be made for the volume changes. The result that time-dependent volume changes do not contribute to ??A is a general result and extends beyond these experiments, the simple indentor model and particular constitutive equations used to illustrate the principle.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The roles of time and displacement in velocity-dependent volumetric strain of fault zones
Series title:
Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Volume
102
Issue:
B10
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
22595
Last page:
22609
Number of Pages:
15