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Authors: Tinti, E.* 
Bizzarri, A.* 
Cocco, M.* 
Title: Modeling the dynamic rupture propagation on heterogeneous faults with rate- and state-dependent friction
Issue Date: 2005
Series/Report no.: 2/48 (2005)
Keywords: dynamic rupture
fault constitutive law
fault friction
stress heterogeneities
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.03. Earthquake source and dynamics 
Abstract: We investigate the effects of non-uniform distribution of constitutive parameters on the dynamic propagation of an earthquake rupture. We use a 2D finite difference numerical method and we assume that the dynamic rupture propagation is governed by a rate- and state-dependent constitutive law. We first discuss the results of several numerical experiments performed with different values of the constitutive parameters a (to account for the direct effect of friction), b (controlling the friction evolution) and L (the characteristic length-scale parameter) to simulate the dynamic rupture propagation on homogeneous faults. Spontaneous dynamic ruptures can be simulated on velocity weakening (a < b) fault patches: our results point out the dependence of the traction and slip velocity evolution on the adopted constitutive parameters. We therefore model the dynamic rupture propagation on heterogeneous faults. We use in this study the characterization of different frictional regimes proposed by Boatwright and Cocco (1996) based on different values of the constitutive parameters a, b and L. Our numerical simulations show that the heterogeneities of the L parameter affect the dynamic rupture propagation, control the peak slip velocity and weakly modify the dynamic stress drop and the rupture velocity. Moreover, a barrier can be simulated through a large contrast of L parameter. The heterogeneity of a and b parameters affects the dynamic rupture propagation in a more complex way. A velocity strengthening area (a > b) can arrest a dynamic rupture, but can be driven to an instability if suddenly loaded by the dynamic rupture front. Our simulations provide a picture of the complex interactions between fault patches having different frictional properties and illustrate how the traction and slip velocity evolutions are modified during the propagation on heterogeneous faults. These results involve interesting implications for slip duration and fracture energy.
Appears in Collections:Annals of Geophysics
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