Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dynamic Shear Rupture in Frictional Interfaces: Speeds, Directionality and Modes

By Ares J. Rosakis, et al, California Institute of Technology

The goal in designing dynamic frictional experiments simulating earthquake rupture has been to create a testing environment or platform which could reproduce some of the basic physics governing the rupture dynamics of crustal earthquakes while preserving enough simplicity so that clear conclusions can be obtained by pure observation. In this article we first review past and recent experimental work on dynamic shear rupture propagation along frictional interfaces. The early experimental techniques are discussed in relation to recent experimental simulations of earthquakes which feature advanced diagnostics of high temporal and spatial resolution. The high-resolution instrumentation enables direct
comparison between the experiments and data recorded during natural earthquakes. The experimental results presented in this review are examined in light of seismological observations related to various natural large rupture events and of recent theoretical and numerical development in the understanding of frictional rupture. In particular, the physics and conditions leading to phenomena such as supershear rupture growth, sub- Rayleigh to supershear rupture transition and rupture directionality in inhomogeneous systems, are discussed in detail. Finally, experiments demonstrating the attainability of various rupture modes (crack-like, pulse-like and mixed) are presented and discussed in relation to theoretical and numerical predictions (the complete article).

Notes of AMR administrator: Dr. Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautic and Mechanical Engineering at Caltech, and his colleagues have recently made siginificant contributions to earthquake dynamics and supersonic wave propagations in solids (e.g. Science 29 April, 2005; Science, 19 March, 2004).
The above article is a review article by Prof. Rosakis and his colleagues, which will be published in the Treatise of Geophysics.
For more information about Professor Rosakis' recent research on earthquake dynamics, you can visit this website.


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