Frictional behavior and constitutive modeling of simulated fault gouge

C. Marone, C. B. Raleigh, C. H. Scholz

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Presents an investigation of the frictional properties and stability of frictional sliding for simulated fault gouge. In these experiments gouge layers (quartz sand) were sheared under saturated drained conditions and at constant normal stress (50-190 MPa) between either rough steel surfaces or Westerly granite surfaces in a triaxial apparatus. Porosity φ was monitored continuously during shear. Measurements indicate that granular gouge exhibits strain hardening and net compaction for shear strains γ >0.5-1.0. For γ sliding occurs at approximately constant shear stress and net compaction from one load/unload cycle to the next ceases. Dilatancy occurs at 1/3 to 1/2 the shear stress required for sliding and d2φ/dγ2 becomes negative at about the peak stress in a given loading cycle, indicating the onset of shear localization. Experiments with an initial gouge layer exhibit velocity strengthening, and initially bare granite surfaces exhibit velocity weakening. Data suggest that slip within unconsolidated granular material, such as some natural fault gouges, is inherently stable. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7007-7025
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB5
StatePublished - 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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