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Fault‐Zone Damage Promotes Pulse‐Like Rupture and Back‐Propagating Fronts via Quasi‐Static Effects

Idini, B. and Ampuero, J.-P. (2020) Fault‐Zone Damage Promotes Pulse‐Like Rupture and Back‐Propagating Fronts via Quasi‐Static Effects. Geophysical Research Letters, 47 (23). Art. No. e2020GL090736. ISSN 0094-8276.

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Damage zones are ubiquitous components of faults that may affect earthquake rupture. Simulations show that pulse‐like rupture can be induced by the dynamic effect of waves reflected by sharp fault zone boundaries. Here we show that pulses can appear in a highly damaged fault zone even in the absence of reflected waves. We use quasi‐static scaling arguments and quasi‐dynamic earthquake cycle simulations to show that a crack turns into a pulse after the rupture has grown larger than the fault zone thickness. Accompanying the pulses, we find complex rupture patterns involving back‐propagating fronts that emerge from the primary rupture front. Our model provides a mechanism for back‐propagating fronts recently observed during large earthquakes. Moreover, we find that slow‐slip simulations in a highly compliant fault zone also produce back‐propagating fronts, suggesting a new mechanism for the rapid tremor reversals observed in Cascadia and Japan.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper ItemSupplementary Materials ItemCode
Idini, B.0000-0002-2697-3893
Ampuero, J.-P.0000-0002-4827-7987
Additional Information:© 2020 American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 01 December 2020; Version of Record online: 01 December 2020; Accepted manuscript online: 09 November 2020; Manuscript accepted: 05 November 2020; Manuscript revised: 04 November 2020; Manuscript received: 09 September 2020. This work was supported by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and by the French government through the FAULTS_R_GEMS project (ANR‐17‐CE31‐0008) and the UCAJEDI Investments in the Future project (ANR‐15‐IDEX‐01) managed by the National Research Agency (ANR). SCEC is funded by NSF Cooperative Agreement EAR‐1600087 and USGS Cooperative Agreement G17AC00047. This is SCEC Contribution No. 10084. Data Availability Statement: Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no data sets were generated or analyzed during the current study. The Quasi‐DYNamic earthquake simulator (QDYN) (Luo et al., 2017) used to compute our numerical models of earthquake cycles is available online ( QDYN is freely available for academic research purposes and licensed by GNU General Public License, Version 3.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-17-CE31-0008
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)ANR-15-IDEX-01
Subject Keywords:rupture dynamics; slow earthquakes; fault zone; damaged zone; rapid‐tremor‐reversals
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Southern California Earthquake Center10084
Issue or Number:23
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200102-140235447
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Official Citation:Idini, B., & Ampuero, J.‐P. (2020). Fault‐zone damage promotes pulse‐like rupture and back‐propagating fronts via quasi‐static effects. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL090736.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100462
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Jan 2020 02:48
Last Modified:09 Jul 2021 20:45

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