Articles | Volume 12, issue 2
Solid Earth, 12, 375–387, 2021

Special issue: Thermo-hydro-mechanical–chemical (THMC) processes in natural...

Solid Earth, 12, 375–387, 2021

Research article 16 Feb 2021

Research article | 16 Feb 2021

The competition between fracture nucleation, propagation, and coalescence in dry and water-saturated crystalline rock

Jessica A. McBeck et al.

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

Aben, F. M., Doan, M.-L., and Mitchell, T. M.: Variation of hydraulic properties due to dynamic fracture damage: Implications for fault zones, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 125, e2019JB018919,, 2020. 
Aben, F. M., Doan, M. L., Mitchell, T. M., Toussaint, R., Reuschlé, T., Fondriest, M., Gratier J-P., and Renard, F.: Dynamic fracturing by successive coseismic loadings leads to pulverization in active fault zones. J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 121, 2338–2360, 2016. 
Anderson, O. L. and Grew, P. C.: Stress corrosion theory of crack propagation with applications to geophysics, Rev. Geophys. Space Phys., 15, 77–104, 1977. 
Atkinson, B. K.: Subcritical crack growth in geological materials, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 89, 4077–4114, 1984. 
Atkinson, B. K.: Fracture Mechanics of Rock, 534, Academic, London, 1987. 
Short summary
The competing modes of fault network development, including nucleation, propagation, and coalescence, influence the localization and connectivity of fracture networks and are thus critical influences on permeability. We distinguish between these modes of fracture development using in situ X-ray tomography triaxial compression experiments on crystalline rocks. The results underscore the importance of confining stress (burial depth) and fluids on fault network development.