To investigate the behavior of the fracture energy associated with expanding the rupture zone of an earthquake, we have used the results of a large-scale, biaxial stick-slip friction experiment to set the parameters of an equivalent dynamic rupture model. This model is determined by matching the fault slip, the static stress drop and the apparent stress. After confirming that the fracture energy associated with this model earthquake is in reasonable agreement with corresponding laboratory values, we can use it to determine fracture energies for earthquakes as functions of stress drop, rupture velocity and fault slip. If we take account of the state of stress at seismogenic depths, the model extrapolation to larger fault slips yields fracture energies that agree with independent estimates by others based on dynamic rupture models for large earthquakes. For fixed stress drop and rupture speed, the fracture energy scales linearly with fault slip.
Additional publication details
Attempting to bridge the gap between laboratory and seismic estimates of fracture energy