The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault

Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault
Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault
Temperature and fluid pressure conditions control rock deformation and mineralization on geological faults, and hence the distribution of earthquakes1. Typical intraplate continental crust has hydrostatic fluid pressure and a near-surface thermal gradient of 31 ± 15 degrees Celsius per kilometre2, 3. At temperatures above 300–450 degrees Celsius, usually found at depths greater than 10–15 kilometres, the intra-crystalline plasticity of quartz and feldspar relieves stress by aseismic creep and earthquakes are infrequent. Hydrothermal conditions control the stability of mineral phases and hence frictional–mechanical processes associated with earthquake rupture cycles, but there are few temperature and fluid pressure data from active plate-bounding faults. Here we report results from a borehole drilled into the upper part of the Alpine Fault, which is late in its cycle of stress accumulation and expected to rupture in a magnitude 8 earthquake in the coming decades4, 5. The borehole (depth 893 metres) revealed a pore fluid pressure gradient exceeding 9 ± 1 per cent above hydrostatic levels and an average geothermal gradient of 125 ± 55 degrees Celsius per kilometre within the hanging wall of the fault. These extreme hydrothermal conditions result from rapid fault movement, which transports rock and heat from depth, and topographically driven fluid movement that concentrates heat into valleys. Shear heating may occur within the fault but is not required to explain our observations. Our data and models show that highly anomalous fluid pressure and temperature gradients in the upper part of the seismogenic zone can be created by positive feedbacks between processes of fault slip, rock fracturing and alteration, and landscape development at plate-bounding faults.
0028-0836
137–140
Sutherland, Rupert
96704929-bf2b-4eff-9e81-93edfad504b0
Townend, John
60be76ed-47bd-4c9a-92e1-2cba6fdad2e4
Toy, Virginia
fc903111-1385-4cf6-a398-86d1d0e904c1
Upton, Phaedra
45d085d3-dc9f-4233-8ef0-f8094d5a6728
Coussens, Jamie
10b295ab-dcbb-4111-baa0-d21e631d6af4
Allen, Michael
a177adf5-62e3-4e62-b154-d9bf4d0cae5a
Baratin, Laura-may
5b34d0dd-7ed3-4c56-bec4-8c15921ebc6e
Barth, Nicolas
cc641fe4-318d-4b2f-bb17-4d67a228df26
Becroft, Leeza
afc21557-17ef-46a2-ad2f-5495b73bd8c5
Boese, Carolin
f68bad5c-5139-476c-9b6f-ce7729e55c00
Boles, Austin
ed718735-cb55-4086-9e0c-1a2f9049b3e1
Boulton, Carolyn
b4c9d954-1708-4eac-8501-ee6e19084693
Broderick, Neil G. R.
7a4d0b09-189a-4334-be7c-6afd80b7dc45
Janku-capova, Lucie
23b7a06a-c5d8-4b39-9ccc-bcc69f327d46
Carpenter, Brett M.
d0ab47bd-0f3c-4b8a-b545-1a7ea011cd45
Célérier, Bernard
d51b3fa6-d780-47c6-bec5-1e2a527eecff
Chamberlain, Calum
7d6468d9-3807-4b04-974c-ff54b450f1d5
Cooper, Alan
caf20184-4f54-4796-9c9f-496f46224dc5
Coutts, Ashley
f4b0f17c-d1bc-49fe-94e7-3701d7d74d41
Cox, Simon
c52a53fd-9ba7-4e62-a0b6-f8fa42f0b40a
Craw, Lisa
005bea72-be4d-41f7-81ca-6d778145343f
Doan, Mai-linh
c3133590-40bd-4b12-9282-4acd49ae9a2a
Eccles, Jennifer
f8688ddd-36e4-4c62-851b-7f11491a1079
Faulkner, Dan
be4638f2-fe9e-481a-8216-75798ad2696f
Grieve, Jason
43186c09-68b8-4f29-abd9-b5964e89f196
Grochowski, Julia
af8ddabd-5427-43b7-8748-d37c3872701c
Gulley, Anton
d1a61203-024f-47d7-8857-46607085eff3
Hartog, Arthur
9358a5af-0af0-4d70-ac71-10a02ba85043
Howarth, Jamie
8690a629-1e1c-4de5-b09c-df2abe7932e6
Jacobs, Katrina
ac64a94d-2337-424b-8c42-c52ca7e27175
Jeppson, Tamara
2f4a3446-645a-43d8-897f-90f4af932d2e
Kato, Naoki
07473ee0-2a88-4983-9fb1-8969253d8b47
Keys, Steven
3ce5e53e-9b41-46bd-8178-a641a0e2a80b
Kirilova, Martina
a69b5a9c-a6d3-4560-ad34-8b869bc07399
Kometani, Yusuke
bb839814-eb6c-42a8-8247-e0857f7280e4
Langridge, Rob
e610618a-39f5-4a16-a3ee-223aea9beb1f
Lin, Weiren
40c7a3c2-97b0-4f29-93a3-054040296528
Little, Timothy
5d5e967c-15ca-4e26-a2d5-10718cf19bf3
Lukacs, Adrienn
e22c218f-1757-4d6e-bb7e-f39fd3bd0132
Mallyon, Deirdre
d0853440-240f-4b9e-9663-c774c594138b
Mariani, Elisabetta
00274f3a-607f-4758-8e5b-1479a078e323
Massiot, Cécile
62d69e10-9dc5-4506-944a-535c510f3d90
Mathewson, Loren
1049e6d5-aee9-4f58-a83b-5368ade998e6
Melosh, Ben
2d520377-54d8-48b8-9bca-1642aeafe556
Menzies, Catriona
04bc2a62-064d-4911-9c45-17b47f3005de
Moore, Jo
54c0e361-87e3-481f-91f1-a0914791e476
Morales, Luiz
a77ccf3d-420c-48eb-985f-4e95379f7d1f
Morgan, Chance
679ecc9d-0fcd-4230-80ff-71c080ac6cf6
Mori, Hiroshi
6a325eb8-f45b-46a2-a030-ef517697f854
Niemeijer, Andre
2d3a4a33-0c11-45f6-9fa1-117d13ef85b9
Nishikawa, Osamu
1e7321a5-b2ef-4dc5-8faa-0c827edd8322
Prior, David
553832e6-c5b1-417b-a606-aac82a184a68
Sauer, Katrina
467cba29-92d6-4919-8b5b-27c2fa1817e1
Savage, Martha
c19d5afc-6e4e-4c3a-a684-9bf7d4669dc2
Schleicher, Anja
86d98770-5a6d-447a-8c6e-5154fdbdd8e8
Schmitt, Douglas R.
e0757c8a-06ee-4dab-ac74-edeedd36d320
Shigematsu, Norio
ff6f8bda-3ca9-4c13-a2b1-453382aa12d3
Taylor-offord, Sam
614a64e7-cdb7-4b40-a47f-4a977a962e39
Teagle, Damon
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Tobin, Harold
70aa0deb-e88c-462d-9a78-f5ddecd139b1
Valdez, Robert
81a1f942-1c1b-448f-ac98-00705201fa20
Weaver, Konrad
fe3806cd-ffa9-4f0a-be84-045bf1b14bf3
Wiersberg, Thomas
8e54cd7a-ce6a-4ba1-94b8-2a30e9708fee
Williams, Jack
68b155c3-c5b5-4b26-8cd8-7bfd8e46966f
Woodman, Nicholas
9870f75a-6d12-4815-84b8-6610e657a6ad
Zimmer, Martin
1d50f02f-9d18-4932-813c-4ea4ce98d6ff
Sutherland, Rupert
96704929-bf2b-4eff-9e81-93edfad504b0
Townend, John
60be76ed-47bd-4c9a-92e1-2cba6fdad2e4
Toy, Virginia
fc903111-1385-4cf6-a398-86d1d0e904c1
Upton, Phaedra
45d085d3-dc9f-4233-8ef0-f8094d5a6728
Coussens, Jamie
10b295ab-dcbb-4111-baa0-d21e631d6af4
Allen, Michael
a177adf5-62e3-4e62-b154-d9bf4d0cae5a
Baratin, Laura-may
5b34d0dd-7ed3-4c56-bec4-8c15921ebc6e
Barth, Nicolas
cc641fe4-318d-4b2f-bb17-4d67a228df26
Becroft, Leeza
afc21557-17ef-46a2-ad2f-5495b73bd8c5
Boese, Carolin
f68bad5c-5139-476c-9b6f-ce7729e55c00
Boles, Austin
ed718735-cb55-4086-9e0c-1a2f9049b3e1
Boulton, Carolyn
b4c9d954-1708-4eac-8501-ee6e19084693
Broderick, Neil G. R.
7a4d0b09-189a-4334-be7c-6afd80b7dc45
Janku-capova, Lucie
23b7a06a-c5d8-4b39-9ccc-bcc69f327d46
Carpenter, Brett M.
d0ab47bd-0f3c-4b8a-b545-1a7ea011cd45
Célérier, Bernard
d51b3fa6-d780-47c6-bec5-1e2a527eecff
Chamberlain, Calum
7d6468d9-3807-4b04-974c-ff54b450f1d5
Cooper, Alan
caf20184-4f54-4796-9c9f-496f46224dc5
Coutts, Ashley
f4b0f17c-d1bc-49fe-94e7-3701d7d74d41
Cox, Simon
c52a53fd-9ba7-4e62-a0b6-f8fa42f0b40a
Craw, Lisa
005bea72-be4d-41f7-81ca-6d778145343f
Doan, Mai-linh
c3133590-40bd-4b12-9282-4acd49ae9a2a
Eccles, Jennifer
f8688ddd-36e4-4c62-851b-7f11491a1079
Faulkner, Dan
be4638f2-fe9e-481a-8216-75798ad2696f
Grieve, Jason
43186c09-68b8-4f29-abd9-b5964e89f196
Grochowski, Julia
af8ddabd-5427-43b7-8748-d37c3872701c
Gulley, Anton
d1a61203-024f-47d7-8857-46607085eff3
Hartog, Arthur
9358a5af-0af0-4d70-ac71-10a02ba85043
Howarth, Jamie
8690a629-1e1c-4de5-b09c-df2abe7932e6
Jacobs, Katrina
ac64a94d-2337-424b-8c42-c52ca7e27175
Jeppson, Tamara
2f4a3446-645a-43d8-897f-90f4af932d2e
Kato, Naoki
07473ee0-2a88-4983-9fb1-8969253d8b47
Keys, Steven
3ce5e53e-9b41-46bd-8178-a641a0e2a80b
Kirilova, Martina
a69b5a9c-a6d3-4560-ad34-8b869bc07399
Kometani, Yusuke
bb839814-eb6c-42a8-8247-e0857f7280e4
Langridge, Rob
e610618a-39f5-4a16-a3ee-223aea9beb1f
Lin, Weiren
40c7a3c2-97b0-4f29-93a3-054040296528
Little, Timothy
5d5e967c-15ca-4e26-a2d5-10718cf19bf3
Lukacs, Adrienn
e22c218f-1757-4d6e-bb7e-f39fd3bd0132
Mallyon, Deirdre
d0853440-240f-4b9e-9663-c774c594138b
Mariani, Elisabetta
00274f3a-607f-4758-8e5b-1479a078e323
Massiot, Cécile
62d69e10-9dc5-4506-944a-535c510f3d90
Mathewson, Loren
1049e6d5-aee9-4f58-a83b-5368ade998e6
Melosh, Ben
2d520377-54d8-48b8-9bca-1642aeafe556
Menzies, Catriona
04bc2a62-064d-4911-9c45-17b47f3005de
Moore, Jo
54c0e361-87e3-481f-91f1-a0914791e476
Morales, Luiz
a77ccf3d-420c-48eb-985f-4e95379f7d1f
Morgan, Chance
679ecc9d-0fcd-4230-80ff-71c080ac6cf6
Mori, Hiroshi
6a325eb8-f45b-46a2-a030-ef517697f854
Niemeijer, Andre
2d3a4a33-0c11-45f6-9fa1-117d13ef85b9
Nishikawa, Osamu
1e7321a5-b2ef-4dc5-8faa-0c827edd8322
Prior, David
553832e6-c5b1-417b-a606-aac82a184a68
Sauer, Katrina
467cba29-92d6-4919-8b5b-27c2fa1817e1
Savage, Martha
c19d5afc-6e4e-4c3a-a684-9bf7d4669dc2
Schleicher, Anja
86d98770-5a6d-447a-8c6e-5154fdbdd8e8
Schmitt, Douglas R.
e0757c8a-06ee-4dab-ac74-edeedd36d320
Shigematsu, Norio
ff6f8bda-3ca9-4c13-a2b1-453382aa12d3
Taylor-offord, Sam
614a64e7-cdb7-4b40-a47f-4a977a962e39
Teagle, Damon
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Tobin, Harold
70aa0deb-e88c-462d-9a78-f5ddecd139b1
Valdez, Robert
81a1f942-1c1b-448f-ac98-00705201fa20
Weaver, Konrad
fe3806cd-ffa9-4f0a-be84-045bf1b14bf3
Wiersberg, Thomas
8e54cd7a-ce6a-4ba1-94b8-2a30e9708fee
Williams, Jack
68b155c3-c5b5-4b26-8cd8-7bfd8e46966f
Woodman, Nicholas
9870f75a-6d12-4815-84b8-6610e657a6ad
Zimmer, Martin
1d50f02f-9d18-4932-813c-4ea4ce98d6ff

Sutherland, Rupert, Townend, John, Toy, Virginia, Upton, Phaedra, Coussens, Jamie, Allen, Michael, Baratin, Laura-may, Barth, Nicolas, Becroft, Leeza, Boese, Carolin, Boles, Austin, Boulton, Carolyn, Broderick, Neil G. R., Janku-capova, Lucie, Carpenter, Brett M., Célérier, Bernard, Chamberlain, Calum, Cooper, Alan, Coutts, Ashley, Cox, Simon, Craw, Lisa, Doan, Mai-linh, Eccles, Jennifer, Faulkner, Dan, Grieve, Jason, Grochowski, Julia, Gulley, Anton, Hartog, Arthur, Howarth, Jamie, Jacobs, Katrina, Jeppson, Tamara, Kato, Naoki, Keys, Steven, Kirilova, Martina, Kometani, Yusuke, Langridge, Rob, Lin, Weiren, Little, Timothy, Lukacs, Adrienn, Mallyon, Deirdre, Mariani, Elisabetta, Massiot, Cécile, Mathewson, Loren, Melosh, Ben, Menzies, Catriona, Moore, Jo, Morales, Luiz, Morgan, Chance, Mori, Hiroshi, Niemeijer, Andre, Nishikawa, Osamu, Prior, David, Sauer, Katrina, Savage, Martha, Schleicher, Anja, Schmitt, Douglas R., Shigematsu, Norio, Taylor-offord, Sam, Teagle, Damon, Tobin, Harold, Valdez, Robert, Weaver, Konrad, Wiersberg, Thomas, Williams, Jack, Woodman, Nicholas and Zimmer, Martin (2017) Extreme hydrothermal conditions at an active plate-bounding fault. Nature, 546 (7656), 137–140. (doi:10.1038/nature22355).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Temperature and fluid pressure conditions control rock deformation and mineralization on geological faults, and hence the distribution of earthquakes1. Typical intraplate continental crust has hydrostatic fluid pressure and a near-surface thermal gradient of 31 ± 15 degrees Celsius per kilometre2, 3. At temperatures above 300–450 degrees Celsius, usually found at depths greater than 10–15 kilometres, the intra-crystalline plasticity of quartz and feldspar relieves stress by aseismic creep and earthquakes are infrequent. Hydrothermal conditions control the stability of mineral phases and hence frictional–mechanical processes associated with earthquake rupture cycles, but there are few temperature and fluid pressure data from active plate-bounding faults. Here we report results from a borehole drilled into the upper part of the Alpine Fault, which is late in its cycle of stress accumulation and expected to rupture in a magnitude 8 earthquake in the coming decades4, 5. The borehole (depth 893 metres) revealed a pore fluid pressure gradient exceeding 9 ± 1 per cent above hydrostatic levels and an average geothermal gradient of 125 ± 55 degrees Celsius per kilometre within the hanging wall of the fault. These extreme hydrothermal conditions result from rapid fault movement, which transports rock and heat from depth, and topographically driven fluid movement that concentrates heat into valleys. Shear heating may occur within the fault but is not required to explain our observations. Our data and models show that highly anomalous fluid pressure and temperature gradients in the upper part of the seismogenic zone can be created by positive feedbacks between processes of fault slip, rock fracturing and alteration, and landscape development at plate-bounding faults.

Text
Sutherland_etal_2017_Nature_Accepted_Version - Accepted Manuscript
Download (2MB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 21 March 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 17 May 2017
Published date: 1 June 2017
Organisations: Geochemistry, Ocean and Earth Science, Infrastructure Group, Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410547
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410547
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 70c21b0a-3fe1-46ad-a8cc-05a6ad2c6da8
ORCID for Damon Teagle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4416-8409
ORCID for Nicholas Woodman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5571-0451

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jun 2017 09:04
Last modified: 19 Nov 2019 06:06

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Rupert Sutherland
Author: John Townend
Author: Virginia Toy
Author: Phaedra Upton
Author: Jamie Coussens
Author: Michael Allen
Author: Laura-may Baratin
Author: Nicolas Barth
Author: Leeza Becroft
Author: Carolin Boese
Author: Austin Boles
Author: Carolyn Boulton
Author: Neil G. R. Broderick
Author: Lucie Janku-capova
Author: Brett M. Carpenter
Author: Bernard Célérier
Author: Calum Chamberlain
Author: Alan Cooper
Author: Ashley Coutts
Author: Simon Cox
Author: Lisa Craw
Author: Mai-linh Doan
Author: Jennifer Eccles
Author: Dan Faulkner
Author: Jason Grieve
Author: Julia Grochowski
Author: Anton Gulley
Author: Arthur Hartog
Author: Jamie Howarth
Author: Katrina Jacobs
Author: Tamara Jeppson
Author: Naoki Kato
Author: Steven Keys
Author: Martina Kirilova
Author: Yusuke Kometani
Author: Rob Langridge
Author: Weiren Lin
Author: Timothy Little
Author: Adrienn Lukacs
Author: Deirdre Mallyon
Author: Elisabetta Mariani
Author: Cécile Massiot
Author: Loren Mathewson
Author: Ben Melosh
Author: Catriona Menzies
Author: Jo Moore
Author: Luiz Morales
Author: Chance Morgan
Author: Hiroshi Mori
Author: Andre Niemeijer
Author: Osamu Nishikawa
Author: David Prior
Author: Katrina Sauer
Author: Martha Savage
Author: Anja Schleicher
Author: Douglas R. Schmitt
Author: Norio Shigematsu
Author: Sam Taylor-offord
Author: Damon Teagle ORCID iD
Author: Harold Tobin
Author: Robert Valdez
Author: Konrad Weaver
Author: Thomas Wiersberg
Author: Jack Williams
Author: Martin Zimmer

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×