University of Cambridge > > Sedgwick Club talks > Slippery When Wet - Journey to the centre of the San Andreas Fault Zone

Slippery When Wet - Journey to the centre of the San Andreas Fault Zone

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Surface heat flow and stress orientations around the San Andreas Fault suggest anomalously low frictional strengths. Despite over 30 years of research, no clear consensus exists over the importance and causes of such weakness. This talk will present new geological observations from rocks sampled at 3.3km depth – the heart of the San Andreas Fault. The weakening mechanisms seen in these samples highlight the fundamental role played by fluid-rock interactions in upper crustal fault zones. Interestingly, there are very significant similarities between the fault rock processes seen here and those preserved along other deeply exhumed weak fault elsewhere in the world.

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This talk is part of the Sedgwick Club talks series.

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