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The evolution of source characteristics of acoustic emission (AE) events and the surface topography of the fault surface during frictional sliding were investigated with the aim of improving current understanding of the microscopic process of friction. Both the AE source dimensions and the grain-scale topographies were well conserved against abrasion during the sliding, but the magnitude of stress drop was significantly reduced. The fractal-domain topographies, the wavelength of which isdoi:10.1186/bf03353113 fatcat:eqbhwmdrrzbljpcsmxzepliw2a