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Interplay of seismic and aseismic deformations during earthquake swarms: An experimental approach

Lengliné, O. and Elkhoury, J. E. and Daniel, G. and Schmittbuhl, J. and Toussaint, R. and Ampuero, J.-P. and Bouchon, M. (2012) Interplay of seismic and aseismic deformations during earthquake swarms: An experimental approach. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 331-33 . pp. 215-223. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.022.

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Observations of earthquake swarms and slow propagating ruptures on related faults suggest a close relation between the two phenomena. Earthquakes are the signature of fast unstable ruptures initiated on localized asperities while slow aseismic deformations are experienced on large stable segments of the fault plane. The spatial proximity and the temporal coincidence of both fault mechanical responses highlight the variability of fault rheology. However, the mechanism relating earthquakes and aseismic processes is still elusive due to the difficulty of imaging these phenomena of large spatiotemporal variability at depth. Here we present laboratory experiments that explore, in great detail, the deformation processes of heterogeneous interfaces in the brittle-creep regime. We track the evolution of an interfacial crack over 7 orders of magnitude in time and 5 orders of magnitude in space using optical and acoustic sensors. We explore the response of the system to slow transient loads and show that slow deformation episodes are systematically accompanied by acoustic emissions due to local fracture energy disorder. Features of acoustic emission activities and deformation rate distributions of our experimental system are similar to those in natural faults. On the basis of an activation energy model, we link our results to the Rate and State friction model and suggest an active role of local creep deformation in driving the seismic activity of earthquake swarms.

Item Type:Article
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Ampuero, J.-P.0000-0002-4827-7987
Additional Information:© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Received 13 November 2011. Revised 5 March 2012. Accepted 13 March 2012. Available online 13 April 2012. Editor: P. Shearer. We thank K. J. Måløy, K. T. Tallakstad, S. Santucci, M. Grob, F. H. Cornet, J.P. Avouac, D. R. Shelly, M. Aktar and H. Karabulut for fruitful discussions. We also thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and A. Steyer for technical support. We acknowledge the support of ANR grant SUPNAF and of NSF grant EAR-1015698.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)SUPNAF
Subject Keywords:Earthquake swarms; Aseismic slip
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120806-093259455
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Official Citation:O. Lengliné, J.E. Elkhoury, G. Daniel, J. Schmittbuhl, R. Toussaint, J.-P. Ampuero, M. Bouchon, Interplay of seismic and aseismic deformations during earthquake swarms: An experimental approach, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volumes 331–332, 15 May 2012, Pages 215-223, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.03.022.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32936
Deposited On:06 Aug 2012 18:34
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:31

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