Earthquake Ruptures with Thermal Weakening and the Operation of Major Faults at Low Overall Stress Levels

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Earthquake Ruptures with Thermal Weakening and the Operation of Major Faults at Low Overall Stress Levels

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dc.contributor.author Noda, Hiroyuki
dc.contributor.author Dunham, Eric M.
dc.contributor.author Rice, James R.
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-04T18:46:26Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.citation Noda, Hiroyuki, Eric M. Dunham, and James R. Rice. 2009. Earthquake ruptures with thermal weakening and the operation of major faults at low overall stress levels. Journal of Geophysical Research 114:B07302. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0148-0227 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:5104698
dc.description.abstract We model ruptures on faults that weaken in response to flash heating of microscopic asperity contacts (within a rate-and-state framework) and thermal pressurization of pore fluid. These are arguably the primary weakening mechanisms on mature faults at coseismic slip rates, at least prior to large slip accumulation. Ruptures on strongly rate-weakening faults take the form of slip pulses or cracks, depending on the background stress. Self-sustaining slip pulses exist within a narrow range of stresses: below this range, artificially nucleated ruptures arrest; above this range, ruptures are crack-like. Natural quakes will occur as slip pulses if faults operate at the minimum stress required for propagation. Using laboratory-based flash heating parameters, propagation is permitted when the ratio of shear to effective normal stress on the fault is 0.2–0.3; this is mildly influenced by reasonable choices of hydrothermal properties. The San Andreas and other major faults are thought to operate at such stress levels. While the overall stress level is quite small, the peak stress at the rupture front is consistent with static friction coefficients of 0.6–0.9. Growing slip pulses have stress drops of ~3 MPa; slip and the length of the slip pulse increase linearly with propagation distance at ~0.14 and ~30 m/km, respectively. These values are consistent with seismic and geologic observations. In contrast, cracks on faults of the same rheology have stress drops exceeding 20 MPa, and slip at the hypocenter increases with distance at ~1 m/km. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Earth and Planetary Sciences en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Engineering and Applied Sciences en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher American Geophysical Union en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1029/2008JB006143 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://esag.harvard.edu/rice/230_NodaDunhamRice_ThermWeak_JGR09.pdf en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Earthquake Ruptures with Thermal Weakening and the Operation of Major Faults at Low Overall Stress Levels en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Journal of Geophysical Research en_US
dash.depositing.author Rice, James R.
dc.date.available 2011-08-04T18:46:26Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7587]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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