Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
Research article
25 Jan 2021
Research article |  | 25 Jan 2021

Effect of normal stress on the frictional behavior of brucite: application to slow earthquakes at the subduction plate interface in the mantle wedge

Hanaya Okuda, Ikuo Katayama, Hiroshi Sakuma, and Kenji Kawai

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Subject area: Tectonic plate interactions, magma genesis, and lithosphere deformation at all scales | Editorial team: Structural geology and tectonics, paleoseismology, rock physics, experimental deformation | Discipline: Mineral and rock physics
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Cited articles

Angiboust, S. and Agard, P.: Initial water budget: The key to detaching large volumes of eclogitized oceanic crust along the subduction channel?, Lithos, 120, 453–474,, 2010. 
Anthony, J. L. and Marone, C.: Influence of particle characteristics on granular friction, J. Geophys. Res., 110, B08409,, 2005. 
Audet, P. and Kim, Y.: Teleseismic constraints on the geological environment of deep episodic slow earthquakes in subduction zone forearcs: A review, Tectonophysics, 670, 1–15,, 2016. 
Audet, P., Bostock, M. G., Christensen, N. I., and Peacock, S. M.: Seismic evidence for overpressured subducted oceanic crust and megathrust fault sealing, Nature, 457, 76–78,, 2009. 
Berman, H.: Fibrous Brucite from Quebec, Am. Mineral., 17, 313–316, 1932. 
Short summary
Serpentinite, generated by the hydration of ultramafic rocks, is thought to be related to slow earthquakes at the subduction plate interface in the mantle wedge. We conducted friction experiments on brucite, one of the components of serpentinite, and found that wet brucite exhibits low and unstable friction under low effective normal stress conditions. This result suggests that wet brucite may be key for slow earthquakes at the subduction plate interface in a hydrated mantle wedge.