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Principal fault zone width and permeability of the active Neodani Fault, Nobi fault system, southwest Japan



Principal fault zone width and permeability of the active Neodani Fault, Nobi fault system, southwest Japan



Tectonophysics 379(1-4): 93-108



The internal structure and permeability of the Neodani fault, which was last activated at the time of the 1891 Nobi earthquake (M8.0), were examined through field survey and experiments. A new exposure of the fault at a road construction site reveals a highly localized feature of the past fault deformation within a narrow fault core zone. The fault of the area consists of three zone units towards the fault core: (a) protolith rocks; (b) 15 to 30 m of fault breccia, and (c) 200 mm green to black fault gouge. Within the fault breccia zone, cataclastic foliation oblique to the fault has developed in a fine-grained 2-m-wide zone adjacent to the fault. Foliation is defined by subparallel alignment of intact lozenge shaped clasts, or by elongated aggregates of fine-grained chert fragments. The mean angle of 20 degrees , between the foliation and the fault plane suggests that the foliated breccia accommodated a shear strain of gamma <5 assuming simple shear for the rotation of the cataclastic foliation. Previous trench surveys have revealed that the fault has undergone at least 70 m of fault displacement within the last 20,000 years in this locality. The observed fault geometry suggests that past fault displacements have been localized into the 200-mm-wide gouge zone. Gas permeability analysis of the gouges gives low values of the order of 10 (super -20) m (super 2) . Water permeability as low as 10 (super -20) m (super 2) is therefore expected for the fault gouge zone, which is two orders of magnitude lower than the critical permeability suggested for a fault to cause thermal pressurization during a fault slip.

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Accession: 019793033

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DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2003.10.007


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