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Static Laboratory Earthquake Measurements with the Digital Image Correlation Method

Rubino, V. and Lapusta, N. and Rosakis, A. J. and Leprince, S. and Avouac, J. P. (2015) Static Laboratory Earthquake Measurements with the Digital Image Correlation Method. Experimental Mechanics, 55 (1). pp. 77-94. ISSN 0014-4851. doi:10.1007/s11340-014-9893-z.

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Mapping full-field displacement and strain changes on the Earth’s surface following an earthquake is of paramount importance to enhance our understanding of earthquake mechanics. Currently, aerial and satellite images taken pre- and post-earthquake can be processed with sub-pixel correlation algorithms to infer the co-seismic ground deformations (e.g., [1, 2]). However, the interpretation of this data is not straightforward due to the inherent complexity of natural faults and deformation fields. To gain understanding into rupture mechanics and to help interpret complex rupture features occurring in nature, we develop a laboratory earthquake setup capable of reproducing displacement and strain maps similar to those obtained in the field, while maintaining enough simplicity so that clear conclusions can be drawn. Earthquakes are mimicked in the laboratory by dynamic rupture propagating along an inclined frictional interface formed by two Homalite plates under compression (e.g., [3]). In our study, the interface is partially glued, in order to confine the rupture before it reaches the ends of the specimen. The specimens are painted with a speckle pattern to provide the surface with characteristic features for image matching. Images of the specimens are taken before and after dynamic rupture with a 4 Megapixels resolution CCD camera. The digital images are analyzed with two software packages for sub-pixel correlation: VIC-2D (Correlated Solutions Inc.) and COSI-Corr. Both VIC-2D and COSI-Corr are able to characterize the full-field static displacement of the experimentally produced dynamic shear ruptures. The correlation analysis performed with either software clearly shows (i) the relative displacement (slip) along the frictional interface, (ii) the rupture arrest on the glued boundaries, and (iii) the presence of wing cracks. The obtained displacement measurements are converted to strains, using non-local de-noising techniques; stresses are obtained by introducing Homalite’s constitutive properties. This study is a first step towards using the digital image correlation method in combination with high-speed photography to capture the highly transient phenomena involved in dynamic rupture.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ReadCube access
Rubino, V.0000-0002-4023-8668
Lapusta, N.0000-0001-6558-0323
Rosakis, A. J.0000-0003-0559-0794
Leprince, S.0000-0003-4555-8975
Avouac, J. P.0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2014 Society for Experimental Mechanics. Received: 17 October 2014; Accepted: 1 April 2014; Published online: 22 May 2014. We gratefully acknowledge the support for this study from the National Science Foundation (grant EAR 1142183 and 1321655), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (through Tectonic Observatory at Caltech and grant GBM 2808), the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), and the Keck Institute for Space Studies. This is Tectonics Observatory contribution #250 and SCEC contribution #1810.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Keck Institute for Space Studies, Seismological Laboratory, GALCIT
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFEAR 1142183
NSFEAR 1321655
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBM 2808
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)UNSPECIFIED
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Tectonics Observatory250
Southern California Earthquake Center1810
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150402-135439354
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Rubino, V., Lapusta, N., Rosakis, A.J. et al. Exp Mech (2015) 55: 77. doi:10.1007/s11340-014-9893-z
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56314
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:02 Apr 2015 21:09
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:57

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