We carried out a detailed study of the structural changes that occurred in a thin layer of quartz gouge sheared between saw cuts in granite cylinders at pressures of 2 and 4.7 kbar. At low pressure the material deformed stably, but at high pressure deformation was unstable. During deformation shear zones were developed oblique and parallel to the plane of the saw cuts. Our results suggest that shearing oblique to the strike of the fault zone precedes sudden slip, which is confined to the margin between the intact rock and gouge. If this is true in the natural situation, then it may be possible by studying the spacial distribution of the microseismic activity and creep in shear zones to determine whether sudden slip is imminent. ?? 1978.
Additional publication details
Structures developed in fault gouge during stable sliding and stick-slip