The presence of calcite in and near faults, as the dominant material, cement, or vein fill, indicates that the mechanical behaviour of carbonate-dominated material likely plays an important role in shallow- and mid-crustal faulting. To better understand the behaviour of calcite, under loading conditions relevant to earthquake nucleation, we sheared powdered gouge of Carrara Marble, >98 per cent CaCO3, at constant normal stresses between 1 and 100 MPa under water-saturated conditions at room temperature. We performed slide-hold-slide tests, 1–3000 s, to measure the amount of static frictional strengthening and creep relaxation, and velocity-stepping tests, 0.1–1000 μm s–1, to evaluate frictional stability. We observe that the rates of frictional strengthening and creep relaxation decrease with increasing normal stress and diverge as shear velocity is increased from 1 to 3000 μm s–1 during slide-hold-slide experiments. We also observe complex frictional stability behaviour that depends on both normal stress and shearing velocity. At normal stresses less than 20 MPa, we observe predominantly velocity-neutral friction behaviour. Above 20 MPa, we observe strong velocity-strengthening frictional behaviour at low velocities, which then evolves towards velocity-weakening friction behaviour at high velocities. Microstructural analyses of recovered samples highlight a variety of deformation mechanisms including grain size reduction and localization, folding of calcite grains and fluid-assisted diffusion mass transfer processes promoting the development of calcite nanograins in the highly deformed portions of the experimental fault. Our combined analyses indicate that calcite fault gouge transitions from brittle to semi-brittle behaviour at high normal stress and slow sliding velocities. This transition has important implications for earthquake nucleation and propagation on faults in carbonate-dominated lithologies.
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|Titolo:||The influence of normal stress and sliding velocity on the frictional behaviour of calcite at room temperature: insights from laboratory experiments and microstructural observations|
|Rivista:||GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL|
|Citazione:||Carpenter, B.M., Collettini, C., Viti, C., & Cavallo, A. (2016). The influence of normal stress and sliding velocity on the frictional behaviour of calcite at room temperature: insights from laboratory experiments and microstructural observations. GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL, 205, 548-561.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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