Fault zones focus fluid expulsion in the muddy northern Barbados Ridge accretionary prism with fault-parallel permeabilities about 1000 times greater than intergranular permeabilities in the adjacent sediment. In the Oregon prism the low bedding-perpendicular permeability (due to mudstones) inhibits intergranular dewatering; however, intergranular flow is concentrated where submarine erosion breaches high permeability sandy layers. Even so, faults can capture fluid flow from these exposed sandy layers suggesting the faults have a still higher permeability. Such observations coupled with laboratory measurements permeabilities suggest that faults off Oregon may have fault-parallel permeabilities at least 10-10000 times greater than the adjacent sediments. Results from Barbados and Oregon suggest fluid flow is concentrated along the most active faults. At the toe of prisms the fault zones are being progressively loaded by the thickening wedge and are undergoing compaction. Preliminary experiments show that permeability decreases relative to the surrounding wall rocks along faults within this compactive deformation regime; we believe that these faults must undergo dilation, perhaps linked to transient increases in pore pressure if they are to be preferential fluid conduits. Farther upslope erosion exposes rocks that are more consolidated, commonly more cemented, and generally of lower intergranular permeability than rocks of equivalent burial further seaward. Because of their lithification and overconsolidation these rocks dilate during faulting, locally enhancing fracture permeability. In such dilative regimes, faults become evermore focused zones of fluid expulsion relative to occluded intergranular pathways.