The mechanics of fault zones is still an open subject of central importance to better understand the seismic cycle. Fault zones have a complex internal structure, whose mechanics implies components that span a wide range of magnitudes of spatio-temporal scales: from outcrop scale asperities to large scale fault segments, from the dynamic rupture events to the loading cycle time scale. The structure of fault zones is evolving with time and cumulated displacement. For example, gouge particles accumulate in the cataclastic core and become finer as strain increases, asperities deform and damage accumulates, fragmentation of the host rock happens continuously, competing with healing processes that recover mechanical properties. The interplay of these complex components and their evolution at all scales represent the basic ingredients of fault mechanics.
This session invites contributions from field geologists, laboratory experimentalists, and computer modelers working on the processes active in fault zones: effects of fluids and/or of heat transport, morphology of asperities, role of developing damage, dynamics of granular gouges, field observations of seismic slip criteria in outcrops or in boreholes.Contributions on the scaling laws describing fault morphology or slip distribution and processes of strain localization are also welcome.