The damage is done: Low fault friction recorded in the damage zone of the shallow Japan Trench d├ęcollement

Fault damage zones record the integrated deformation caused by repeated slip on faults and reflect the conditions that control slip behavior. To investigate the Japan Trench décollement, we characterized the damage zone close to the fault from drill core recovered during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 343 (Japan Trench Fast Drilling Project (JFAST)). Core-scale and microscale structures include phyllosilicate bands, shear fractures, and joints. They are most abundant near the décollement and decrease in density sharply above and below the fault. Power law fits describing the change in structure density with distance from the fault result in decay exponents (n) of 1.57 in the footwall and 0.73 in the hanging wall.

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