A Caltech Library Service

Finite element simulations of dynamic shear rupture experiments and dynamic path selection along kinked and branched faults

Templeton, Elizabeth L. and Baudet, Aurélie and Bhat, Harsha S. and Dmowska, Renata and Rice, James R. and Rosakis, Ares J. and Rousseau, Carl-Ernst (2009) Finite element simulations of dynamic shear rupture experiments and dynamic path selection along kinked and branched faults. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 114 (B8). B08304. ISSN 0148-0227.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We analyze the nucleation and propagation of shear cracks along nonplanar, kinked, and branched fault paths corresponding to the configurations used in recent laboratory fracture studies by Rousseau and Rosakis (2003, 2009). The aim is to reproduce numerically those shear rupture experiments and from that provide an insight into processes which are active when a crack, initially propagating in mode II along a straight path, interacts with a bend in the fault or a branching junction. The experiments involved impact loading of thin Homalite-100 (a photoelastic polymer) plates, which had been cut along bent or branched paths and weakly glued back together everywhere except along a starter notch near the impact site. Strain gage recordings and high-speed photography of isochromatic lines provided characterization of the transient deformation fields associated with the impact and fracture propagation. We found that dynamic explicit 2-D plane-stress finite element analyses with a simple linear slip-weakening description of cohesive and frictional strength of the bonded interfaces can reproduce the qualitative rupture behavior past the bend and branch junctions in most cases and reproduce the principal features revealed by the photographs of dynamic isochromatic line patterns. The presence of a kink or branch can cause an abrupt change in rupture propagation velocity. Additionally, the finite element results allow comparison between total slip accumulated along the main and inclined fault segments. We found that slip along inclined faults can be substantially less than slip along the main fault, and the amount depends on the branch angle and kink or branch configuration.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Rosakis, Ares J.0000-0003-0559-0794
Additional Information:©2009. American Geophysical Union. Received 27 October 2008; accepted 13 May 2009; published 13 August 2009. All authors except A.J.R. and C.-E.R. were supported at Harvard by NSF-EAR grants 0440145 and/or 0809610 and by the Southern California Earthquake Center, which is funded by cooperative agreements NSF-EAR 0106924 and USGS 02HQAG0008 (this is SCEC contribution 1229). A.J.R. and C.-E.R. were supported by U.S. DOE grant DE-FG52-06NA26209, NSF-EAR grant EAR-0711545, and ONR MURI grant N0014-06-1-0730.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Southern California Earthquake CenterUNSPECIFIED
NSFEAR 0106924
Department of EnergyDE-FG52-06NA26209
Office of Naval ResearchN0014-06-1-0730
Subject Keywords:supershear; mode-II crack; earthquake rupture
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Southern California Earthquake Center1229
Issue or Number:B8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20090828-231034340
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Templeton, E. L., A. Baudet, H. S. Bhat, R. Dmowska, J. R. Rice, A. J. Rosakis, and C.-E. Rousseau (2009), Finite element simulations of dynamic shear rupture experiments and dynamic path selection along kinked and branched faults, J. Geophys. Res., 114, B08304, doi:10.1029/2008JB006174.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:15453
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Sep 2009 16:18
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page