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Fault stability under conditions of variable normal stress

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

The stability of fault slip under conditions of varying normal stress is modelled as a spring and slider system with rate- and state-dependent friction. Coupling of normal stress to shear stress is achieved by inclining the spring at an angle, ??, to the sliding surface. Linear analysis yields two conditions for unstable slip. The first, of a type previously identified for constant normal stress systems, results in instability if stiffness is below a critical value. Critical stiffness depends on normal stress, constitutive parameters, characteristic sliding distance and the spring angle. Instability of the first type is possible only for velocity-weakening friction. The second condition yields instability if spring angle ?? <-cot-1??ss, where ??ss is steady-state sliding friction. The second condition can arise under conditions of velocity strengthening or weakening. Stability fields for finite perturbations are investigated by numerical simulation. -Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fault stability under conditions of variable normal stress
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
19
Issue:
16
Year Published:
1992
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
1691
Last page:
1694