Summary of results of frictional sliding studies, at confining pressures up to 6.98 kb, in selected rock materials

Open-File Report 77-142
By:  and 



This report is a collection of stress-strain charts which were produced by deforming selected simuiated fault gouge materials. Several sets of samples consisted of intact cylinders, 1.000 inch in diameter and 2.500 inches long. The majority of the samples consisted of thin layers of the selected sample material, inserted within a diagonal sawcut in a 1.000-inch by 2.500-inch Westerly Granite cylinder. Two sorts of inserts were used. The first consisted of thin wafers cut from 1.000-inch-diameter cores of the rock being tested. The other consisted of thin layers of crushed material packed onto the sawcut surface. In several groups of tests using various thicknesses (0.010 inch to 0.160 inch) of a given type material there were variations in the stress level and/or stability of sliding as a function of the fault zone width. Because of this we elected to use a standard 0.025-inch width fault zone to compare the frictional properties of many of the different types of rock materials. This 0.025-inch thickness was chosen partially because this thickness of crushed granite behaves approximately the same as a fractured sample of initially intact granite, and also because this is near the lower limit at which we could cut intact wafers for those samples that were prepared from thin slices of rock. One series of tests was done with saw cut granite cylinders without fault gouge inserts. All of these tests were done in a hydraulically operated triaxial testing machine. The confining pressure (δ1, least principal stress) was applied by pumping petroleum ether into a pressure vessel. The differential stress (δ31) was applied by a hydraulically operated ram that could be advanced into the pressure vessel at any of several strain rates (10-4sec-1, 10-5sec-1, 10-6sec-1, 10-7sec-1, or 10-8sec-1). All samples were jacketed in polyurethane tubing to exclude the confining pressure medium from the samples. The majority of the samples, with the exception of some of the initially intact rocks, also had thin copper jackets. These served to hold the saw cut parts of the granite sample holders in alignment while the samples were handled and pushed into the polyurethane jackets.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Summary of results of frictional sliding studies, at confining pressures up to 6.98 kb, in selected rock materials
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 77-142
DOI 10.3133/ofr77142
Edition -
Year Published 1977
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park Science Center
Description 129 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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