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How faulting keeps the crust strong

John Townend and Mark D. Zoback
How faulting keeps the crust strong
Geology (Boulder) (May 2000) 28 (5): 399-402


Deep drilling and induced seismicity experiments at several locations worldwide indicate that, in general, the brittle crust in intraplate regions is critically stressed, pore pressures are close to hydrostatic, and in situ bulk permeability is approximately 10 (super -17) to 10 (super -16) m (super 2) . This high permeability, three or four orders of magnitude higher than that measured on core samples, appears to be maintained by critically stressed faults and greatly facilitates fluid movement through the brittle crust. We demonstrate that such high permeabilities can maintain approximately hydrostatic fluid pressures at depths comparable to the thickness of the seismogenic crust. This leads to the counterintuitive result that faulting keeps intraplate crust inherently strong by preventing pore pressures greater than hydrostatic from persisting at depth.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 28
Serial Issue: 5
Title: How faulting keeps the crust strong
Affiliation: Stanford University, Department of Geophysics, Stanford, CA, United States
Pages: 399-402
Published: 200005
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2000-036266
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200012
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