Precursory changes in seismic velocity for the spectrum of earthquake failure modes

M. M. Scuderi, C. Marone, E. Tinti, G. Di Stefano, C. Collettini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Temporal changes in seismic velocity during the earthquake cycle have the potential to illuminate physical processes associated with fault weakening and connections between the range of fault slip behaviours including slow earthquakes, tremor and low-frequency earthquakes. Laboratory and theoretical studies predict changes in seismic velocity before earthquake failure; however, tectonic faults fail in a spectrum of modes and little is known about precursors for those modes. Here we show that precursory changes of wave speed occur in laboratory faults for the complete spectrum of failure modes observed for tectonic faults. We systematically altered the stiffness of the loading system to reproduce the transition from slow to fast stick-slip and monitored ultrasonic wave speed during frictional sliding. We find systematic variations of elastic properties during the seismic cycle for both slow and fast earthquakes indicating similar physical mechanisms during rupture nucleation. Our data show that accelerated fault creep causes reduction of seismic velocity and elastic moduli during the preparatory phase preceding failure, which suggests that real-Time monitoring of active faults may be a means to detect earthquake precursors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalNature Geoscience
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

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seismic velocity
earthquake
earthquake precursor
stick-slip
tectonics
elastic property
fault slip
elastic modulus
theoretical study
active fault
creep
nucleation
sliding
stiffness
rupture
monitoring
laboratory
speed

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Scuderi, M. M. ; Marone, C. ; Tinti, E. ; Di Stefano, G. ; Collettini, C. / Precursory changes in seismic velocity for the spectrum of earthquake failure modes. In: Nature Geoscience. 2016 ; Vol. 9, No. 9. pp. 695-700.
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Precursory changes in seismic velocity for the spectrum of earthquake failure modes. / Scuderi, M. M.; Marone, C.; Tinti, E.; Di Stefano, G.; Collettini, C.

In: Nature Geoscience, Vol. 9, No. 9, 01.09.2016, p. 695-700.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Marone, C.

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