Evolution of wear and friction along experimental faults

Pure and Applied Geophysics
By: , and 



We investigate the evolution of wear and friction along experimental faults composed of solid rock blocks. This evolution is analyzed through shear experiments along five rock types, and the experiments were conducted in a rotary apparatus at slip velocities of 0.002–0.97 m/s, slip distances from a few millimeters to tens of meters, and normal stress of 0.25–6.9 MPa. The wear and friction measurements and fault surface observations revealed three evolution phases: A) An initial stage (slip distances <50 mm) of wear by failure of isolated asperities associated with roughening of the fault surface; B) a running-in stage of slip distances of 1–3 m with intense wear-rate, failure of many asperities, and simultaneous reduction of the friction coefficient and wear-rate; and C) a steady-state stage that initiates when the fault surface is covered by a gouge layer, and during which both wear-rate and friction coefficient maintain quasi-constant, low levels. While these evolution stages are clearly recognizable for experimental faults made from bare rock blocks, our analysis suggests that natural faults “bypass” the first two stages and slip at gouge-controlled steady-state conditions.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Evolution of wear and friction along experimental faults
Series title Pure and Applied Geophysics
DOI 10.1007/s00024-014-0801-3
Volume 171
Issue 11
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 17 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Pure and Applied Geophysics
First page 3125
Last page 3141
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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