Fluids associated with the San Andreas and companion faults n central and south-central California have high 3He/4He ratios. The lack of correlation between helium isotopes and fluid chemistry or local geology requires that fluids enter the fault system from the mantle. Mantle fluids passing through the ductile lower crust must enter the brittle fault zone at or near lithostatic pressures; estimates of fluid flux based on helium isotopes suggest that they may thus contribute directly to fault-weakening high-fluid pressures at seismogenic depths.
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Mantle fluids in the San Andreas fault system, California