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Dynamic rupture initiation and propagation in a fluid-injection laboratory setup with diagnostics across multiple temporal scales

Gori, Marcello and Rubino, Vito and Rosakis, Ares J. and Lapusta, Nadia (2021) Dynamic rupture initiation and propagation in a fluid-injection laboratory setup with diagnostics across multiple temporal scales. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118 (51). Art. No. e2023433118. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC8713790. doi:10.1073/pnas.2023433118.

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Fluids are known to trigger a broad range of slip events, from slow, creeping transients to dynamic earthquake ruptures. Yet, the detailed mechanics underlying these processes and the conditions leading to different rupture behaviors are not well understood. Here, we use a laboratory earthquake setup, capable of injecting pressurized fluids, to compare the rupture behavior for different rates of fluid injection, slow (megapascals per hour) versus fast (megapascals per second). We find that for the fast injection rates, dynamic ruptures are triggered at lower pressure levels and over spatial scales much smaller than the quasistatic theoretical estimates of nucleation sizes, suggesting that such fast injection rates constitute dynamic loading. In contrast, the relatively slow injection rates result in gradual nucleation processes, with the fluid spreading along the interface and causing stress changes consistent with gradually accelerating slow slip. The resulting dynamic ruptures propagating over wetted interfaces exhibit dynamic stress drops almost twice as large as those over the dry interfaces. These results suggest the need to take into account the rate of the pore-pressure increase when considering nucleation processes and motivate further investigation on how friction properties depend on the presence of fluids.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information CentralArticle
Gori, Marcello0000-0002-7380-3723
Rubino, Vito0000-0002-4023-8668
Rosakis, Ares J.0000-0003-0559-0794
Lapusta, Nadia0000-0001-6558-0323
Additional Information:© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. Published under the PNAS license. Edited by Paul Segall, Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; received November 20, 2020; accepted November 3, 2021. This study was supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants (EAR-2045285 and EAR-1651235); US Geological Survey Grant G20AP00037; the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Mechanical and Civil Engineering Big Idea Fund (2019); the Caltech Terrestrial Hazard Observatory and Reporting Center; and the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards. Data Availability: Structure data have been deposited in CaltechDATA (DOI: Author contributions: M.G., V.R., A.J.R., and N.L. designed research; M.G. performed research; M.G. analyzed data; and M.G., V.R., and N.L. wrote the paper. The authors declare no competing interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. This article contains supporting information online at
Group:Center for Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (GMG), Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, GALCIT, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Caltech Big Ideas FundUNSPECIFIED
Caltech Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting (THOR) CenterUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:laboratory earthquakes; fluid-induced seismicity; earthquake source physics; fluid pore-pressure rate; nucleation length
Issue or Number:51
PubMed Central ID:PMC8713790
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211217-790936300
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Dynamic rupture initiation and propagation in a fluid-injection laboratory setup with diagnostics across multiple temporal scales. Marcello Gori, Vito Rubino, Ares J. Rosakis, Nadia Lapusta. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Dec 2021, 118 (51) e2023433118; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2023433118
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:112501
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Dec 2021 17:13
Last Modified:15 Nov 2022 15:28

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