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Experimental and modeling study of the effect of fault roughness on dynamic frictional sliding

Tal, Yuval and Goebel, Thomas and Avouac, Jean-Philippe (2020) Experimental and modeling study of the effect of fault roughness on dynamic frictional sliding. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 536 . Art. No. 116133. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2020.116133.

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Friction governs many processes in nature from the motion of glaciers and landslides to tremors and earthquakes. The roughness of the sliding interfaces presumably affects their dynamics, in particular the condition for stable or unstable sliding. We investigate this issue by modeling numerically tri-axial stick-slip experiments on Westerly granite samples with different levels of roughness. The model accounts for surface roughness at the millimeter scale and assumes rate and state friction with enhanced dynamic weakening. It reproduces key characteristics observed in the experiments, such as sequences of fast stick-slip events for smooth surface and sequence of slow slip events with small stress drop followed by a large-stress drop unstable slip event for the rough interface. The increase in loading stiffness due to the additional resistance from roughness can explain the initial slow slip. The fast-unstable event may be the result of the higher critical stiffness due to the increase of local normal tractions with slip, as well as of the reduction of the loading stiffness due to contacts losses. The study allows examining numerically the relationship between the frictional behavior on the interface and the apparent friction estimated from external loads. We find that, because of dynamic overshoot, the reduction in apparent friction is larger than that of the actual friction coefficient on the interface.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Tal, Yuval0000-0001-7308-9294
Goebel, Thomas0000-0003-1552-0861
Avouac, Jean-Philippe0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Received 18 July 2019, Revised 29 January 2020, Accepted 30 January 2020, Available online 13 February 2020. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Group:Center for Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (GMG), Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Seismological Laboratory
Subject Keywords:fault friction; roughness; stick-slip; slow slip; numerical modeling; friction experiments
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200213-082142665
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Official Citation:Yuval Tal, Thomas Goebel, Jean-Philippe Avouac, Experimental and modeling study of the effect of fault roughness on dynamic frictional sliding, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 536, 2020, 116133, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101263
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 17:03
Last Modified:15 Nov 2022 19:18

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