Report

Self-Healing Pulse-Like Shear Ruptures in the Laboratory

Science  22 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5794, pp. 1765-1768
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128359

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Abstract

Models predict that dynamic shear ruptures during earthquake faulting occur as either sliding cracks, where a large section of the interface slides behind a fast-moving rupture front, or self-healing slip pulses, where the fault relocks shortly behind the rupture front. We report experimental visualizations of crack-like, pulse-like, and mixed rupture modes propagating along frictionally held, “incoherent” interfaces separating identical solids, and we describe the conditions under which those modes develop. A combination of simultaneously performed measurements via dynamic photoelasticity and laser interferometry reveals the rupture mode type, the exact point of rupture initiation, the sliding velocity history, and the rupture propagation speed.

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