Energy loss in a fault damage zone, outside the slip zone, contributes to the fracture energy that determines rupture velocity of an earthquake. A nonelastic two-dimensional dynamic calculation is done in which the slip zone is modeled as a fault plane and material off the fault is subject to a Coulomb yield condition. In a mode 2 crack-like solution in which an abrupt uniform drop of shear traction on the fault spreads from a point, Coulomb yielding occurs on the extensional side of the fault. Plastic strain is distributed with uniform magnitude along the fault, and it has a thickness normal to the fault proportional to propagation distance. Energy loss off the fault is also proportional to propagation distance, and it can become much larger than energy loss on the fault specified by the fault constitutive relation. The slip velocity function could be produced in an equivalent elastic problem by a slip-weakening friction law with breakdown slip Dc increasing with distance. Fracture energy G and equivalent Dc will be different in ruptures with different initiation points and stress drops, so they are not constitutive properties; they are determined by the dynamic solution that arrives at a particular point. Peak slip velocity is, however, a property of a fault location. Nonelastic response can be mimicked by imposing a limit on slip velocity on a fault in an elastic medium.
Additional publication details
Rupture dynamics with energy loss outside the slip zone