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Rock Fractures and Fluid Flow

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One of the main findings in recent years is that every fault zone has mechanical properties that differ from those of the adjacent host rock. It follows that a fault zone should be treated as an elastic inclusion, that is, a zone of solid material with (commonly widely) different properties from those of the hosting material. The elastic inclusion, or zone, is composed of two main hydromechanical units: a central core, characterised by breccias and gouge, and a damage zone, characterised by fractures whose frequency varies with distance from the fault core. The variation in fracture frequency within the damage zone means that the effective mechanical properties (mainly Young’s modulus or stiffness) also varies within the damage zone, resulting in many damage zones being composed of mechanically distinct subzones.

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Dextral Strike-slip fault through a house in Iceland   Segmented Fault in iceland


Contact: rf3@es.rhul.ac.uk


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