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Electrical resistivity changes in rocks during frictional sliding and fracture

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Significant changes of electrical resistivity of saturated rocks and water pressure along sliding surface occurred during stick-slips in our direct shear experiment. Two types of changes of electrical resistivity occurred. In the first, resistivity decreased with increasing shear stress, reached minimum together with a sudden release of shear stress and returned to a higher value immediately afterwards. In the second, resistivity again decreased with increasing stress but, in contrast to the first type of changes, it decreased further upon the sudden drop of shear stress. The magnitude and the direction of the changes of water pressure on the sliding surface during stick-slip were not uniform, indicating local variations of surface deformation.

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Wang, C., Sundaram, P.N. & Goodman, R.E. Electrical resistivity changes in rocks during frictional sliding and fracture. PAGEOPH 116, 717–731 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00876534

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Key words

  • Electrical resistivity
  • Fracture
  • Friction