Schedule Oct 14, 2005
How Can We Connect the Scales of Earthquakes and Laboratories? Introduction of Multi-Hierarchy into Earthquake Rupture Models
Dr. Ryosuke Ando, Columbia University

In order to investigate the effects of fault zones on earthquake ruptures that are geometrically complex, we focus on the dynamic formation process of secondary branch faults (BFs) distributed along principle slip planes based on multi- scale model introducing hierarchical fault geometry inside fault zones. Employing a model analyzed by the boundary integral equation method, we observe sequential bifurcations of the tip of main-fault (MF) as it is dynamically propagated. Farther, if the propagation distance of the MF is smaller than a critical length, BFs are arrested soon after the initiation and their lengths become proportional to the MF length (self-similar distribution); we refer the BFs as mesoscopic BFs. The rupture velocity of the MF becomes constant here, due to energy dissipation on the mesoscopic BFs being proportional to the length of MF. However, once the MF is propagated beyond the critical distance, therefore a BF exceeds a critical length, a BF starts to grow spontaneously into a scale comparable to the MF length; we refer this BF as a macroscopic BF.

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