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Laboratory Earthquakes: The Sub-Rayleigh-to-Supershear Rupture Transition

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Science  19 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5665, pp. 1859-1861
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094022

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Abstract

We report on the experimental observation of spontaneously nucleated supershear rupture and on the visualization of sub-Rayleigh–to–supershear rupture transitions in frictionally held interfaces. The laboratory experiments mimic natural earthquakes. The results suggest that under certain conditions supershear rupture propagation can be facilitated during large earthquake events.

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