Strain-Softening Instability Model for the San Fernando Earthquake

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Science  02 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4383, pp. 907-910
DOI: 10.1126/science.203.4383.907


Changes in the ground elevation observed before and immediately after the 1971 San Fernando, California, earthquake are consistent with a theoretical model in which fault zone rocks are strain-softening after peak stress. The model implies that the slip rate of the fault increased to aboul 0.1 meter per year near the focus before the earthquake.