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Scaling of small repeating earthquakes explained by interaction of seismic and aseismic slip in a rate and state fault model

Chen, Ting and Lapusta, Nadia (2009) Scaling of small repeating earthquakes explained by interaction of seismic and aseismic slip in a rate and state fault model. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 114 (B1). Art. No. B01311. ISSN 0148-0227. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:CHEjgrb09

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Abstract

Because of short recurrence times and known locations, small repeating earthquakes present a rare predictable opportunity for detailed field observations. They are used to study fault creeping velocities, earthquake nucleation, stress drops, and other aspects of tectonophysics, earthquake mechanics, and seismology. An intriguing observation about repeating earthquakes is their scaling of recurrence time with seismic moment, which is significantly different from the scaling based on a simple conceptual model of circular ruptures with stress drop independent of seismic moment and no aseismic slip. Here we show that a model of repeating earthquakes based on laboratory-derived rate and state friction laws reproduces the observed scaling. In the model, a small fault patch governed by steady state velocity-weakening friction is surrounded by a much larger velocity-strengthening region. Long-term slip behavior of the fault is simulated using a methodology that fully accounts for both aseismic slip and inertial effects of occasional seismic events. The model results in repeating earthquakes with typical stress drops and sizes comparable with observations. For a fixed set of friction parameters, the observed scaling is reproduced by varying the size of the velocity-weakening patch. In simulations, a significant part of slip on the velocity-weakening patches is accumulated aseismically, even though the patches also produce seismic events. The proposed model supplies a laboratory-based framework for interpreting the wealth of observations about repeating earthquakes, provides indirect evidence that rate and state friction acts on natural faults, and has important implications for possible scenarios of slip partition into seismic and aseismic parts.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008JB005749DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JB005749/abstractPublisherArticle
http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2010JB007810 ErrataErratum
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010JB007810/abstractErrataErratum
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Chen, Ting0000-0002-9599-871X
Lapusta, Nadia0000-0001-6558-0323
Additional Information:© 2009 American Geophysical Union. Received 15 April 2008; revised 24 October 2008; accepted 6 November 2008; published 24 January 2009. This study was supported by the U.S. Geological Survey (grant 07HQGR0070) and the National Science Foundation (grant EAR 0548277). The numerical simulations for this research were performed on the Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences Dell cluster. We thank Yi Liu for help with the code used to perform the simulations and Stephen Hickman for providing the SAFOD schematics for Figure 1. We also thank Bill Ellsworth, Allan Rubin, Paul Segall, Roland Bürgmann, Peter Shearer, Emily Brodsky, and an anonymous reviewer for comments and discussions that helped improve the paper.
Errata:Chen, T., and N. Lapusta (2010), Correction to “Scaling of small repeating earthquakes explained by interaction of seismic and aseismic slip in a rate and state fault model”, J. Geophys. Res., 115, B09304, doi:10.1029/2010JB007810.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
USGS07HQGR0070
NSFEAR-0548277
Subject Keywords:dynamic rupture; aseismic slip; mechanics of repeating earthquakes
Issue or Number:B1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:CHEjgrb09
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:CHEjgrb09
Official Citation:Chen, T., and N. Lapusta (2009), Scaling of small repeating earthquakes explained by interaction of seismic and aseismic slip in a rate and state fault model, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B01311, doi:10.1029/2008JB005749.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13354
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:11 Feb 2009 03:59
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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