We sheared simulated-quartz gouges using a low-velocity rotary shear apparatus and evaluated the relationship between electron spin resonance (ESR) intensity and displacement quantitatively considering problems of contaminants. ESR intensity of E1' centre increased while OHC and peroxy centre kept constant with the increasing displacement up to 1.4 m. Microstructural analysis showed grain size reduction and fracture of starting gouges; hence, the fracture can affect the change in ESR intensity. ESR measurements were also conducted for starting gouges with variable amounts of contaminants, and it was confirmed that the effect of contaminants on the change in ESR intensity was negligible. Moreover, we estimated the temperature rise by the frictional heating on the surface and between particles, and it was shown that the effect of frictional heating on ESR intensity was also negligible in our experimental condition. Therefore, we could clarify the relationship between ESR intensity and fracturing with various displacements separately from contaminants and frictional heating. The results imply that the zero-setting of ESR signals cannot occur by the fracture with low frictional heating at the shallow depth.
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