Earth Planets Space, Vol. 54 (No. 11), pp. 1147-1152, 2002
Department of Earth Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
(Received December 27, 2001; Revised June 28, 2002; Accepted July 28, 2002)
Abstract: Two recent experimental studies on the frictional behavior of synthetic gouge-bearing faults under the operation of pressure solution are compared. One is triaxial shear experiments on quartz gouge at high pressure-temperature hydrothermal conditions (Kanagawa et al., 2000), and the other is rotary shear experiments on halite gouge at atmospheric pressure and room temperature in the presence of methanol-water mixtures (Bos et al., 2000). In spite of quite different experimental settings and conditions, the results of these two series of experiments are strikingly similar; both cataclasis and pressure solution being active during the experiments, gouge strength rate-controlled by cataclasis, two different frictional behaviors of slip hardening and softening, slip hardening associated with gouge compaction, distributed deformation and wall-rock failure, slip softening associated with localized slip along the gouge-wall-rock interface, and the transition from slip-hardening to slip-softening behavior according to decreasing rate of pressure solution. Although there is a difference in velocity dependence of strength between quartz and halite gouges, these similarities clearly demonstrate the important effects of pressure solution on the frictional behavior of gouge-bearing faults.