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Kinetics of crack-sealing, intergranular pressure solution, and compaction around active faults

Abstract : Geological evidence indicates that fluids play a key role during the seismic cycle. After an earthquake, fractures are open in the fault and in the surroundings rocks. With time, during the interseismic period, the permeability of the fault and the country rocks tends to decrease by gouge compaction and fracture healing and sealing. Dissolution along stylolite seams provides the matter that fills the fractures, whereas intergranular pressure solution is responsible for gouge compaction. If these processes are fast enough during the seismic cycle, they can modify the creep properties of the fault. Based on field observations and experimental data, we model the porosity decrease by pressure solution processes around an active fault after an earthquake. We arrive at plausible rates of fracture sealing that are comparable to the recurrence time for earthquakes. We also study the sensitivity of these rates to various parameters such as grain size, fracture spacing, and the coefficient of diffusion along grain boundaries and stylolites.
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François Renard, Jean-Pierre Gratier, Bjørn Jamtveit. Kinetics of crack-sealing, intergranular pressure solution, and compaction around active faults. Journal of Structural Geology, 2000, 22, pp.1395-1407. ⟨10.1016/S0191-8141(00)00064-X⟩. ⟨insu-03606309⟩

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