Molten rock makes big earthquakes bigger

John G. Spray, AGU

This resource provides an abstract. A modified friction welding device was used to spin one small cylinder of granite against another at high speed and pressure in order to simulate two plates sliding against each other. The velocity of the spinning granite cylinders, the force with which they were pushed together, and the temperature at their interface were measured. It was found that high heat generated when large plates slip against each other melts rock which accelerates slipping and results in more violent shaking than expected.

Subject: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Seismology, Mineral Physics
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work:AGU Highlights
Special Interest: Hazards
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Earthquakes, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Geophysics