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The effect of mineral bond strength and adsorbed water on fault gouge frictional strength

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1029/1999GL008401

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Abstract

Recent studies suggest that the tendency of many fault gouge minerals to take on adsorbed or interlayer water may strongly influence their frictional strength. To test this hypothesis, triaxial sliding experiments were conducted on 15 different single-mineral gouges with various water-adsorbing affinities. Vacuum dried samples were sheared at 100 MPa, then saturated with water and sheared farther to compare dry and wet strengths. The coefficients of friction, μ, for the dry sheet-structure minerals (0.2-0.8), were related to mineral bond strength, and dropped 20-60% with the addition of water. For non-adsorbing minerals (μ = 0.6-0.8), the strength remained unchanged after saturation. These results confirm that the ability of minerals to adsorb various amounts of water is related to their relative frictional strengths, and may explain the anomalously low strength of certain natural fault gouges.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The effect of mineral bond strength and adsorbed water on fault gouge frictional strength
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1029/1999GL008401
Volume
27
Issue:
6
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
815
Last page:
818
Number of Pages:
4