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Fault gouge is an unconsolidated tectonite (a rock formed by tectonic forces) with a very small grain size. Fault gouge has no cohesion, it is normally an unconsolidated rock type, unless cementation took place at a later stage. A fault gouge forms in the same way as fault breccia, the latter also having larger clasts.
Fault gouge forms by tectonic movement along a localized zone of brittle deformation (a fault zone) in a rock. The grinding and milling that results when the two sides of the fault zone move along each other results in a material that is made of loose fragments. First a fault breccia will form, but if the grinding continues the rock becomes fault gouge.
- Twiss, R.J. & Moores, E.M., 2000 (6th edition): Structural Geology, W.H. Freeman & co, ISBN 0-7167-2252-6; p. 55
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