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Slip Complexity in a Crustal-Plane Model of an Earthquake Fault

Christopher R. Myers, Bruce E. Shaw, & James S. Langer

Published July 1996, SCEC Contribution #174

We study numerically the behavior of a two-dimensional elastic plate (a crustal plane) that terminates along one of its edges at a fault boundary. Slip-weakening friction at the boundary, inertial dynamics in the bulk, and uniform slow loading via elastic coupling to a substrate combine to produce a complex, deterministically chaotic sequence of slipping events. We observe a power-law distribution of small events and an excess of large events. For the small events, the moments scale with rupture length in a manner that is consistent with seismological observations. For the large events, rupture occurs in the form of narrow propagating pulses.

Myers, C. R., Shaw, B. E., & Langer, J. S. (1996). Slip Complexity in a Crustal-Plane Model of an Earthquake Fault. Physical Review Letters, 77(5), 972-975. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.972 .