Boult et al. (2003) raise several important points regarding our paper covering areas such as top and fault seal geomechanics, as well as experimental protocol. They recognize that the main thrust of the paper is to highlight the possibility of fault healing and regeneration of cohesive strength in fault rocks, which is critical when assessing fault reactivation using geomechanical techniques. Their comments are addressed below. However, before replying to their comments, we would like to correct a serious oversight made in our initial paper, regarding the origins of figures 1a and b. Figure 1a comes from Cockshell et al. (1995)...

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