New experimental data for the mechanical and thermodynamic properties of clays at high pressure and high temperature are applied to model the frictional sliding in a subduction zone. The model is believed applicable because of the large volume of pelagic sediments that appear to have been subducted with the oceanic plate along active Pacific margins. This model also is used to interpret the seismicity in a subduction zone and the heat flow across an arc-trench system.

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