Townend and Zoback (2000) argued that faults keep the crust strong by increasing the permeability and thus preventing a build-up of overpressure. By maintaining hydrostatic pressures, the faults increase their frictional strength and thus make the crust stronger than if the fault were overpressured.


It is not quite clear what Townend and Zoback (2000) meant by their claim that faulting keeps the crust strong. Are they implying that faults at hydrostatic pressure are stronger than unfaulted rocks?. Why do they think that overpressures would develop in the absence of faults in basement rocks that are not undergoing progressive burial or...

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