By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Fresh data on Geology are presented in a new report. According to news reporting from Utrecht, Netherlands, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "A central aim in fault mechanics is to understand the microphysical mechanisms controlling aseismic-seismic transitions in fault gouges, and to identify microstructural indicators for such transitions. We present new data on the slip stability of calcite fault gouges, and on microstructural development down to the nanometer scale."
The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Utrecht, "Our experiments consisted of direct shear tests performed dry at slip rates of 0.1-10 mu m/s, at a constant normal stress of 50 MPa, at 18-150 degrees C. The results show a transition from stable to (potentially) unstable slip above similar to 80 degrees C. All samples recovered showed an optical microstructure characterized by narrow, 30-40-mu m-wide, Riedel and boundary shear bands marked by extreme grain comminution, and a crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO). Boundary shear bands, sectioned using FIB-SEM (focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy), revealed angular grain fragments decreasing from 10 to 20 mu m at the outer margins to similar to 0.3 mu m in the shear band core, where dense aggregates of nanograins also occurred. Transmission electron microscopy, applied to foils extracted from boundary shears using FIB-SEM, combined with the optical CPO, showed that these aggregates consist of calcite nanocrystals, 5-20 nm in size, with the (104)[(2) over bar 01] dislocation glide system oriented parallel to the shear plane and direction. Our results suggest that the mechanisms controlling slip include cataclasis and localized crystal plasticity."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Because crystal plasticity is strongly thermally activated, we infer that the transition to velocity-weakening slip is likely due to enhanced crystal plasticity at >80 degrees C. This implies that tectonically active limestone terrains will tend to be particularly prone to shallow-focus seismicity."
For more information on this research see: Nanocrystalline slip zones in calcite fault gouge show intense crystallographic preferred orientation: Crystal plasticity at sub-seismic slip rates at 18-150 degrees C. Geology, 2013;41(8):863-866. Geology can be contacted at: Geological Soc Amer, Inc, PO Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301-9140, USA. (Pleiades Publishing - www.maik.ru)
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting B.A. Verberne, University of Utrecht, Dept. of Biol, NL-3508 TB Utrecht, Netherlands. Additional authors for this research include J.H.P. de Bresser, A.R. Niemeijer, C.J. Spiers, D.A.M. de Winter and O. Plumper (see also Geology).
Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Utrecht, Geology, Netherlands
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