Hematite is a ubiquitous secondary phase in fault zones. Iron is the 4th most abundant element in Earth’s crust and hematite grows in a range of shallow fault rocks due to the redox potential of diverse Fe-bearing minerals. Hematite in fault rocks exhibits grain morphologies and nano- to microscale textures that preserve evidence for different fault slip rates and deformation conditions. Hematite is also amenable to (U-Th)/He thermochronometry, a powerful tool that, when combined with textural observations, informs the timing and temperatures (and thus rates) of fault slip. In this talk, I share examples of how we fuse textural observations and thermochronometry data patterns from natural and experimental fault surfaces to inform earthquake mechanics on thin slip surfaces.
Speaker: Alexis Ault, Utah State University
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