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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
06 Dec 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Analogue earthquakes and seismic cycles: Experimental modelling across timescales
Matthias Rosenau1, Fabio Corbi2,3, and Stephane Dominguez3 1Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – German Research Center for Geosciences, GFZ, Potsdam, D-14473, Germany
2University RomaTre, Rome, I-00146, Italy
3University of Montpellier, UMR5243 Geosciences, Montpellier, F-34920, France
Abstract. Since the formulation of Reid’s elastic rebound theory 100 years ago laboratory mechanical models combining frictional and elastic elements have joined the forefront of the research on the dynamics of earthquakes. In the last decade, with the advent of high resolution monitoring techniques and new rock analogue materials, laboratory earthquake experiments kept developing from simple spring-slider models to more sophisticated scaled analogue models. This evolution was accomplished by advances in seismology and geodesy which, along with a culmination of large earthquakes, have significantly increased the quality and quantity of relevant observations in nature. We here review the cornerstones of analogue earthquake model developments with a focus on scale models which are directly comparable to observational data on short to long timescales. We revisit the basics of analogue modelling, namely scaling, materials and monitoring, as applied in earthquake modelling. An overview of applications highlights the contributions of analogue earthquake models in bridging timescales of observations including earthquake statistics, rupture dynamics, ground motion and seismic cycle deformation up to seismotectonic evolution. We finally discuss limits, challenges and links to numerical models.

Citation: Rosenau, M., Corbi, F., and Dominguez, S.: Analogue earthquakes and seismic cycles: Experimental modelling across timescales, Solid Earth Discuss., doi:10.5194/se-2016-165, in review, 2016.
Matthias Rosenau et al.
Matthias Rosenau et al.

Data sets

Supplement to "Analogue earthquakes and seismic cycles: Experimental modelling across timescales"
M. Rosenau, F. Corbi, S. Dominguez, M. Rudolf, M. Ritter, and E. Pipping
Matthias Rosenau et al.


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Short summary
This paper reviews advances in experimental earthquake modelling. Over the last century experiments developed from simple spring-slider and block models to scaled analogue models. Based on recent advances in material characterization and monitoring analogue earthquake models today are able to simulate realistcally seismotectonic deformation of the earth. They are used to better understand the link between short-term (human time scale) and long-term (geologic time scale) deformation processes.
This paper reviews advances in experimental earthquake modelling. Over the last century...