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Granular nanoparticles lubricate faults during seismic slip

Raehee Han, Takehiro Hirose, Toshihiko Shimamoto, Youngmin Lee and Jun-ichi Ando
Granular nanoparticles lubricate faults during seismic slip
Geology (Boulder) (June 2011) 39 (6): 599-602


Nanoparticles are known to form in narrow slip zones in natural and experimental fault zones, but their possible role in dynamic weakening of faults during seismic slip remains almost unexplored. We conducted friction experiments on periclase (MgO) nanoparticles (50 nm in average size) at rates as high as 1.3 m s (super -1) , a typical speed of seismic slip. The nanoparticles were used as the initial gouge to avoid complexities arising from comminution and fluid release. The dynamic friction decreased with increasing slip rate and the steady-state frictional coefficient reduced to as low as 0.1 at a slip rate of 1.3 m s (super -1) . Flash heating is not effective for nanoparticles, and we propose that development of slickensides and dominant operation of nanoparticle rolling cause such a weakening. Nanoparticle lubrication appears to be as effective as melt lubrication and thermal pressurization, and the formation of nanoparticles in slip zones may be an important fault lubrication process.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 39
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Granular nanoparticles lubricate faults during seismic slip
Affiliation: Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, Geologic Environment Division, Daejeon, South Korea
Pages: 599-602
Published: 201106
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 33
Accession Number: 2011-054026
Categories: Structural geologySeismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2011187
Illustration Description: illus.
Secondary Affiliation: Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), JPN, JapanChina Earthquake Administration, CHN, ChinaHiroshima University, JPN, Japan
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201130
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