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It is well established that earthquake faulting can create permeability along a fault zone in high competence rocks - by mismatch of the fault walls and by secondary fracture in a surrounding damage zone - and that this permeability is created repeatedly during successive earthquake cycles. Less well proven is that such permeability is transient, being episodically reduced by precipitation of cements in the fracture porosity. The textures of carbonate dilation breccias, formed at around 1.7 km depth on the Dent Fault zone (NW England), lend support to this economically important concept of transient fracture permeability. The key observation...

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