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Keywords:

  • Alpine Fault;
  • fault friction;
  • frictional stability;
  • New Zealand;
  • strike-slip;
  • plate boundary

Abstract

Principal slip zone gouges recovered during the Deep Fault Drilling Project (DFDP-1), Alpine Fault, New Zealand, were deformed in triaxial friction experiments at temperatures, T, of up to 350°C, effective normal stresses, σn′, of up to 156 MPa, and velocities between 0.01 and 3 µm/s. Chlorite/white mica-bearing DFDP-1A blue gouge, 90.62 m sample depth, is frictionally strong (friction coefficient, μ, 0.61–0.76) across all experimental conditions tested (T = 70–350°C, σn′ = 31.2–156 MPa); it undergoes a transition from positive to negative rate dependence as T increases past 210°C. The friction coefficient of smectite-bearing DFDP-1B brown gouge, 128.42 m sample depth, increases from 0.49 to 0.74 with increasing temperature and pressure (T = 70–210°C, σn′ = 31.2–93.6 MPa); the positive to negative rate dependence transition occurs as T increases past 140°C. These measurements indicate that, in the absence of elevated pore fluid pressures, DFDP-1 gouges are frictionally strong under conditions representative of the seismogenic crust.