Abstract

The energy released in gravity-driven overthrust faults goes almost entirely into heat. The peak temperatures attained depend upon the rate of movement, since slow movement gives the heat time to diffuse away and rapid movement does not. An exact analysis for the movement duration gives a complicated equation, which is reduced to accurate and simple upper and lower bounds. Mineralization evidence of peak temperature appears as an observed physical parameter in these equations. Actual fault movement durations are typically lower bounded by several years, implying velocities so low as to require a re-examination of some theories of fault mechanics.

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