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https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2018-31
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
07 May 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).
Factors controlling the sequence of asperity failures in a fault model
Emanuele Lorenzano and Michele Dragoni Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Viale Carlo Berti Pichat 8, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Abstract. We consider a fault with two asperities embedded in a shear zone subject to a uniform strain rate owing to tectonic loading. The static stress field generated by seismic events undergoes viscoelastic relaxation as a consequence of the rheological properties of the asthenosphere. We treat the fault as a dynamical system whose basic elements are the asperities. The system has three degrees of freedom: the slip deficits of the asperities and the variation of their difference due to viscoelastic deformation. The dynamics of the system can be described in terms of one sticking mode and three slipping modes, for which we provide analytical solutions. We discuss how the stress state at the beginning of the interseismic interval preceding a seismic event controls the sequence of slipping modes during the event. We focus on the events associated with the separate (consecutive) slips of the asperities and investigate how they are affected by the seismic efficiency of the fault, by the difference in frictional resistance of the asperities and by the intensity of coupling between the asperities.
Citation: Lorenzano, E. and Dragoni, M.: Factors controlling the sequence of asperity failures in a fault model, Solid Earth Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2018-31, in review, 2018.
Emanuele Lorenzano and Michele Dragoni
Emanuele Lorenzano and Michele Dragoni
Emanuele Lorenzano and Michele Dragoni

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Short summary
We consider a model of a fault containing two regions (asperities) whose slip is associated with earthquakes on the fault. The stress field generated by seismic events is relaxed in the following post-seismic interval, due to the properties of rocks in the upper mantle. The sequence of asperity slips in an earthquake is controlled by several elements of the model, e.g. the intensity of seismic waves radiation, the coupling between the asperities and the difference in their frictional strengths.
We consider a model of a fault containing two regions (asperities) whose slip is associated with...
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