SCEC Award Number 21088 View PDF
Proposal Category Individual Proposal (Integration and Theory)
Proposal Title Evolution of frictional shear resistance in response to rapid variations of normal stres
Name Organization
Ares Rosakis California Institute of Technology
Other Participants Rubino, Vito
SCEC Priorities 4a, 1d, 3g SCEC Groups FARM, Seismology, GM
Report Due Date 03/15/2022 Date Report Submitted 03/16/2022
Project Abstract
Friction formulations typically assume shear resistance to be proportional to normal stress. However, when normal stress changes rapidly enough, frictional shear resistance no longer obeys proportionality to the normal stress but rather evolves with slip gradually. In this project, we investigate the evolution of shear stress in response to rapid normal stress variations using laboratory experiments of spontaneously propagating dynamic ruptures. Our experiments produce variations in fault-normal stress due to the interaction of dynamic rupture with the free surface, similarly to what occurs in natural thrust events. Our experimental measurements clearly demonstrate the delay between normal stress changes and the corresponding changes in frictional resistance, with important implications for the dynamics of thrust earthquakes near the free surface. The experiments make use of full-field measurements of displacements, strains, and stresses by combining digital image correlation (DIC) technique with ultrahigh-speed photography, which thoroughly characterize rupture interaction with the free surface, including the large normal stress reductions. In particular, our results indicate that the delay in shear resistance response to variations in normal stress is associated with an evolution distance that is 2–3 orders of magnitude larger than that of rate-and-state friction. Further, our full-field measurement capability allows us to confirm and quantify the asymmetry between the experimental motions of the hanging and footwalls, with larger velocity magnitudes occurring at the hanging wall.
Intellectual Merit Our study use laboratory experiments to investigate the evolution of shear stress in response to rapid normal stress variations as propagating dynamic ruptures interact with the free surface. That allows constraining and formulating constitutive laws that account for delayed response of the frictional shear resistance to variations in normal stress, which are critically important for investigations of several key earthquake source problems. Moreover, the experimental setup enables to study dynamics of thrust events as the ruptures break the free surface, to quantify the associated ground motions and normal stress reductions, and to estimate the potential for fault opening. Our project is also directly in line with the primary research objective of FARM working group to develop “physics-based fault models applicable to various spatial and temporal scales, such as nucleation, propagation and arrest of dynamic rupture”. It contributes to a number of research priorities of FARM, with the most relevant being: “Determine the mechanisms dominant in coseismic (dynamic) fault resistance, including the relative importance of various potential dynamic weakening mechanisms”.
Broader Impacts This project will contribute to our fundamental understanding of dynamic friction. Measuring local evolution of dynamic friction has important implications for understanding earthquake hazard since laws governing frictional resistance of faults are vital ingredients in physically based predictive models of the earthquake source. Moreover, thrust faults pose a major seismic risk for the LA area. In this project, we investigate experimentally and numerically the ground motions associated with the interaction of up-dip dynamic sub- Rayleigh and super-shear ruptures with the free surface, similarly to what occurs in natural thrust events. These measurements will enhance our understanding of the seismic risk associated with thrust events. A research scientist and a postdoctoral scholar have gained valuable research experience by participating in the project and interacting with the SCEC community.
Exemplary Figure Figure 1. Experimental setup. Dynamic shear ruptures are initiated by a small burst of a NiCr wire at distance xf = 11.5 cm from the free surface and propagate spontaneously along a frictional interface inclined at a dip angle of 61º between two Homalite plates, which are loaded under a compressional load P. An ultrahigh-speed camera system (Shimadzu HPV-X) is used to record 128 images of a target area of 19 x 12 mm2 near the free surface at a rate of 1 million frames/second. The images are analyzed with the digital image correlation method to obtain full-field displacement and velocity fields. Panels on the right: Snapshots of the particle velocity magnitude at different stages of Exp. #1 (P = 15 MPa), with overlaid vectors showing the direction and magnitude of particle velocities near the interface and at the free surface. The deformation is exaggerated by a factor of 10. Modified from Tal, Y., Rubino, V., A. J. Rosakis, and N. Lapusta, Dynamics and near-field surface motions of transitioned supershear laboratory earthquakes in thrust faults, Journal of Geophysical Research (accepted), 2022.