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Brittle-viscous deformation, slow slip and tremor

Fagereng, Åke ORCID:, Hillary, Graeme W. B. and Diener, Johann F. A. 2014. Brittle-viscous deformation, slow slip and tremor. Geophysical Research Letters 41 (12) , pp. 4159-4167. 10.1002/2014GL060433

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Geophysical observations have illuminated a spectrum of fault slip styles from continuous asesimic sliding to fast earthquake slip. We study exhumed intercalated lenses of oceanic crust and sedimentary rocks, deformed to high shear strains. Deformation was partitioned between fractured, rigid blocks, with lengths of tens to hundreds of meters, and surrounding metapelites characterized by interconnected phyllosilicate networks. Under inferred conditions of low effective stress at temperatures > 500 °C, locally and transiently elevated shear strain rate in phyllosilicates deforming by dislocation creep can reach those needed for transient slow slip. Concurrently, increased matrix strain rate likely stimulates brittle failure in rigid lenses. The ubiquitous presence of quartz veins and microfractures within rigid material provides evidence for brittle deformation occurring coincident with viscous shearing flow. We suggest that geophysically observed tremor and slow slip may be a manifestation of strain partitioning, where deformation is accommodated viscously in a matrix enveloping rigid lenses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: faults and shear zones; tremor and slow slip; subduction zones; brittle-viscous deformation; exhumed terranes; fluids and deformation.
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date of Acceptance: 29 May 2014
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 10:00

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