N. Beeler
M. Blanpied
J. Gomberg
2000
We examine the predictions of Coulomb failure stress and rate-state frictional models. We study the change in failure time (clock advance) Δt due to stress step perturbations (i.e., coseismic static stress increases) added to "background" stressing at a constant rate (i.e., tectonic loading) at time t<sub>0</sub>. The predictability of Δt implies a predictable change in seismicity rate r(t)/r<sub>0</sub>, testable using earthquake catalogs, where r<sub>0</sub> is the constant rate resulting from tectonic stressing. Models of r(t)/r<sub>0</sub>, consistent with general properties of aftershock sequences, must predict an Omori law seismicity decay rate, a sequence duration that is less than a few percent of the mainshock cycle time and a return directly to the background rate. A Coulomb model requires that a fault remains locked during loading, that failure occur instantaneously, and that Δt is independent of t<sub>0</sub>. These characteristics imply an instantaneous infinite seismicity rate increase of zero duration. Numerical calculations of r(t)/r<sub>0</sub> for different state evolution laws show that aftershocks occur on faults extremely close to failure at the mainshock origin time, that these faults must be "Coulomb-like," and that the slip evolution law can be precluded. Real aftershock population characteristics also may constrain rate-state constitutive parameters; a may be lower than laboratory values, the stiffness may be high, and/or normal stress may be lower than lithostatic. We also compare Coulomb and rate-state models theoretically. Rate-state model fault behavior becomes more Coulomb-like as constitutive parameter a decreases relative to parameter b. This is because the slip initially decelerates, representing an initial healing of fault contacts. The deceleration is more pronounced for smaller a, more closely simulating a locked fault. Even when the rate-state Δt has Coulomb characteristics, its magnitude may differ by some constant dependent on b. In this case, a rate-state model behaves like a modified Coulomb failure model in which the failure stress threshold is lowered due to weakening, increasing the clock advance. The deviation from a non-Coulomb response also depends on the loading rate, elastic stiffness, initial conditions, and assumptions about how state evolves.
application/pdf
10.1029/1999JB900438
en
American Geophysical Union
On rate-state and Coulomb failure models
article