Role of Fault Bends in the Initiation and Termination of Earthquake Rupture

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Science  24 May 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4702, pp. 984-987
DOI: 10.1126/science.228.4702.984


Rupture in individual earthquakes apparently is limited to regions between bends in faults. This is illustrated for eight events that have occurred since 1966. A model based on geometric concepts describes why this is so and clarifies earlier ideas of "asperities" and "barriers" used to explain earthquake initiation and termination processes. Because of their importance in the rupture process, bend zones should be monitored for precursory effects.