Articles | Volume 11, issue 6
Review article
13 Nov 2020
Review article |  | 13 Nov 2020

The physics of fault friction: insights from experiments on simulated gouges at low shearing velocities

Berend A. Verberne, Martijn P. A. van den Ende, Jianye Chen, André R. Niemeijer, and Christopher J. Spiers


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Short summary
The strength of fault rock plays a central role in determining the distribution of crustal seismicity. We review laboratory work on the physics of fault friction at low shearing velocities carried out at Utrecht University in the past 2 decades. Key mechanical data and post-mortem microstructures can be explained using a generalized, physically based model for the shear of gouge-filled faults. When implemented into numerical fault-slip codes, this offers new ways to simulate the seismic cycle.