Slip-pulse rupture behavior on a 2 meter granite fault

Geophysical Research Letters
By: , and 



We describe observations of dynamic rupture events that spontaneously arise on meter-scale laboratory earthquake experiments. While low-frequency slip of the granite sample occurs in a relatively uniform and crack-like manner, instruments capable of detecting high frequency motions show that some parts of the fault slip abruptly (velocity >100 mm∙s-1, acceleration >20 km∙s-2) while the majority of the fault slips more slowly. Abruptly slipping regions propagate along the fault at nearly the shear wave speed. We propose that the dramatic reduction in frictional strength implied by this pulse-like rupture behavior has a common mechanism to the weakening reported in high velocity friction experiments performed on rotary machines. The slip pulses can also be identified as migrating sources of high frequency seismic waves. As observations from large earthquakes show similar propagating high frequency sources, the pulses described here may have relevance to the mechanics of larger earthquakes.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Slip-pulse rupture behavior on a 2 meter granite fault
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2015GL065207
Volume 42
Issue 17
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 7039
Last page 7045
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