Skip to main content

Volume 54 Supplement 11

Special Issue: Slip and Flow Processes in and below the Seismogenic Region

Frictional behavior of synthetic gouge-bearing faults under the operation of pressure solution


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.


  • Angevine, C. L., D. L. Turcotte, and M. D. Furnish, Pressure solution lithification as a mechanism for the stick slip behavior of faults, Tectonics, 1, 151–160, 1982.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baykara, T. and G. M. Pharr, Effects of liquid phases on intrinsic interfacial sliding of alkali halide crystals, Acta Metall. Mater., 39, 1141–1150, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bos, B., C. J. Peach, and C. J. Spiers, Slip behavior of simulated gouge-bearing faults under conditions favoring pressure solution, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 16,699–16,717, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boullier, A.-M. and F. Robert, Paleoseismic events recorded in Archaean gold-quartz vein networks, Val d’Or, Abitibi, Quebec, Canada, J. Struct. Geol., 14, 161–179, 1992.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cox, S. F., Faulting processes at high fluid pressures: An example of fault valve behaviour from the Wattle Gully Fault, Victoria, Australia, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 12,841–12,859, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cox, S. F., V. J. Wall, M. A. Etheridge, and T. F. Potter, Deformational and metamorphic processes in the formation of mesothermal vein-hosted gold deposits—examples from the Lachlan Fold Belt in central Victoria, Australia, Ore Geol. Rev., 6, 391–423, 1991.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dewers, T. and A. Hajash, Rate laws for water-assisted compaction and stress-induced water-rock interaction in sandstones, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 13,093–13,112, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Durney, D. W. and J. G. Ramsay, Incremental strains measured by syntectonic crystal growths, in Gravity and Tectonics, edited by K. A. De Jong and R. Scholten, pp. 67–96, John Wiley, New York, 1973.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gratier, J. P. and R. Giguet, Experimental pressure solution-deposition on quartz grains: The crucial effect of the nature of the fluid, J. Struct. Geol., 8, 845–856, 1986.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hickman, S., R. Sibson, and R. Bruhn, Introduction to special section: Mechanical involvement of fluids in faulting, J. Geophys. Res., 100, 12,831–12,840, 1995.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kanagawa, K., S. F. Cox, and S. Zhang, Effects of dissolution-precipitation processes on the strength and mechanical behavior of quartz gouge at high-temperature hydrothermal conditions, J. Geophys. Res., 105, 11,115–11,126, 2000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McClay, K. R., Pressure solution and Coble creep in rocks and minerals: A review, J. Geol. Soc. London, 134, 57–70, 1977.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Paterson, M. S., Rock deformation experimentation, in The Brittle-Ductile Transition in Rocks, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., 56, edited by A. G. Duba et al., pp. 187–194, AGU, Washington, D.C., 1990.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Pharr, G. M. and M. F. Ashby, On creep enhanced by a liquid phase, Acta Metall., 31, 129–138, 1983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Raj, R., Creep in polycrystalline aggregates by matter transport through a liquid phase, J. Geophys. Res., 87, 4731–4739, 1982.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rutter, E. H., The kinetics of rock deformation by pressure solution, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. A, 283, 203–219, 1976.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rutter, E. H., Pressure solution in nature, theory and experiment, J. Geol. Soc. London, 140, 725–740, 1983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scholz, C. H., The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting, 439 pp., Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 1983.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sibson, R. H., Continental fault structure and the shallow earthquake source, J. Geol. Soc. London, 140, 741–767, 1983.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spiers, C. J. and P. M. T. M. Schutjens, Densification of crystalline aggregates by fluid-phase diffusional creep, in Deformation Processes in Minerals, Ceramics and Rocks, edited by D. J. Barber and P. G. Meredith, pp. 334–353, Unwin Hyman, London, 1990.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Spiers, C. J., P. M. T. M. Schutjens, R. H. Brezesowsky, C. J. Peach, J. L. Liezenberg, and H. J. Zwart, Experimental determination of constitutive parameters governing creep of rocksalt by pressure solution, in Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics, edited by R. J. Knipe and E. H. Rutter, Geol. Soc. Spec. Publ., 54, 215–227, 1990.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kyuichi Kanagawa.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kanagawa, K. Frictional behavior of synthetic gouge-bearing faults under the operation of pressure solution. Earth Planet Sp 54, 1147–1152 (2002).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: