Scaling of the critical slip distance for seismic faulting with shear strain in fault zones

Chris J. Marone, Brian Kilgore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

248 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Theoretical and experimentally based laws for seismic faulting contain a critical slip distance1-5, Dc, which is the slip over which strength breaks down during earthquake nucleation. On an earthquake-generating fault, this distance plays a key role in determining the rupture nucleation dimension6, the amount of premonitory and post-seismic slip7-10, and the maximum seismic ground acceleration1,11. In laboratory friction experiments,Dc has been related to the size of surface contact junctions2,5,12; thus, the discrepancy between laboratory measurements of Dc (∼10-5m) and values obtained from modelling earthquakes (∼10-2m) has been attributed to differences in roughness between laboratory surfaces and natural faults5. This interpretation predicts a dependence of Dc on the particle size of fault gouge2 (breccia and wear material) but not on shear strain. Here we present experimental results showing that Dc scales with shear strain in simulated fault gouge. Our data suggest a new physical interpretation for the critical slip distance, in which Dc is controlled by the thickness of the zone of localized shear strain. As gouge zones of mature faults are commonly 102-103 m thick12-17, whereas laboratory gouge layers are 1-10 mm thick, our data offer an alternative interpretation of the discrepancy between laboratory and field-based estimates of Dc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-621
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume362
Issue number6421
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

Fingerprint

shear strain
fault zone
faulting
earthquake
nucleation
fault gouge
breccia
roughness
rupture
friction
particle size
laboratory
modeling
experiment

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Cite this

@article{eee68d8b1e174495bd7741774d81eb6c,
title = "Scaling of the critical slip distance for seismic faulting with shear strain in fault zones",
abstract = "Theoretical and experimentally based laws for seismic faulting contain a critical slip distance1-5, Dc, which is the slip over which strength breaks down during earthquake nucleation. On an earthquake-generating fault, this distance plays a key role in determining the rupture nucleation dimension6, the amount of premonitory and post-seismic slip7-10, and the maximum seismic ground acceleration1,11. In laboratory friction experiments,Dc has been related to the size of surface contact junctions2,5,12; thus, the discrepancy between laboratory measurements of Dc (∼10-5m) and values obtained from modelling earthquakes (∼10-2m) has been attributed to differences in roughness between laboratory surfaces and natural faults5. This interpretation predicts a dependence of Dc on the particle size of fault gouge2 (breccia and wear material) but not on shear strain. Here we present experimental results showing that Dc scales with shear strain in simulated fault gouge. Our data suggest a new physical interpretation for the critical slip distance, in which Dc is controlled by the thickness of the zone of localized shear strain. As gouge zones of mature faults are commonly 102-103 m thick12-17, whereas laboratory gouge layers are 1-10 mm thick, our data offer an alternative interpretation of the discrepancy between laboratory and field-based estimates of Dc.",
author = "Marone, {Chris J.} and Brian Kilgore",
year = "1993",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/362618a0",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "362",
pages = "618--621",
journal = "Nature",
issn = "0028-0836",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "6421",

}

Scaling of the critical slip distance for seismic faulting with shear strain in fault zones. / Marone, Chris J.; Kilgore, Brian.

In: Nature, Vol. 362, No. 6421, 01.01.1993, p. 618-621.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scaling of the critical slip distance for seismic faulting with shear strain in fault zones

AU - Marone, Chris J.

AU - Kilgore, Brian

PY - 1993/1/1

Y1 - 1993/1/1

N2 - Theoretical and experimentally based laws for seismic faulting contain a critical slip distance1-5, Dc, which is the slip over which strength breaks down during earthquake nucleation. On an earthquake-generating fault, this distance plays a key role in determining the rupture nucleation dimension6, the amount of premonitory and post-seismic slip7-10, and the maximum seismic ground acceleration1,11. In laboratory friction experiments,Dc has been related to the size of surface contact junctions2,5,12; thus, the discrepancy between laboratory measurements of Dc (∼10-5m) and values obtained from modelling earthquakes (∼10-2m) has been attributed to differences in roughness between laboratory surfaces and natural faults5. This interpretation predicts a dependence of Dc on the particle size of fault gouge2 (breccia and wear material) but not on shear strain. Here we present experimental results showing that Dc scales with shear strain in simulated fault gouge. Our data suggest a new physical interpretation for the critical slip distance, in which Dc is controlled by the thickness of the zone of localized shear strain. As gouge zones of mature faults are commonly 102-103 m thick12-17, whereas laboratory gouge layers are 1-10 mm thick, our data offer an alternative interpretation of the discrepancy between laboratory and field-based estimates of Dc.

AB - Theoretical and experimentally based laws for seismic faulting contain a critical slip distance1-5, Dc, which is the slip over which strength breaks down during earthquake nucleation. On an earthquake-generating fault, this distance plays a key role in determining the rupture nucleation dimension6, the amount of premonitory and post-seismic slip7-10, and the maximum seismic ground acceleration1,11. In laboratory friction experiments,Dc has been related to the size of surface contact junctions2,5,12; thus, the discrepancy between laboratory measurements of Dc (∼10-5m) and values obtained from modelling earthquakes (∼10-2m) has been attributed to differences in roughness between laboratory surfaces and natural faults5. This interpretation predicts a dependence of Dc on the particle size of fault gouge2 (breccia and wear material) but not on shear strain. Here we present experimental results showing that Dc scales with shear strain in simulated fault gouge. Our data suggest a new physical interpretation for the critical slip distance, in which Dc is controlled by the thickness of the zone of localized shear strain. As gouge zones of mature faults are commonly 102-103 m thick12-17, whereas laboratory gouge layers are 1-10 mm thick, our data offer an alternative interpretation of the discrepancy between laboratory and field-based estimates of Dc.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0027430462&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0027430462&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/362618a0

DO - 10.1038/362618a0

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0027430462

VL - 362

SP - 618

EP - 621

JO - Nature

JF - Nature

SN - 0028-0836

IS - 6421

ER -