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Published June 2019 | Published
Journal Article Open

Full-field Ultrahigh-speed Quantification of Dynamic Shear Ruptures Using Digital Image Correlation


Producing dynamic ruptures in the laboratory allows us to study fundamental characteristics of interface dynamics. Our laboratory earthquake experimental setup has been successfully used to reproduce a number of dynamic rupture phenomena, including supershear transition, bimaterial effect, and pulse-like rupture propagation. However, previous diagnostics, based on photoelasticity and laser velocimeters, were not able to quantify the full-field behavior of dynamic ruptures and, as a consequence, many key rupture features remained obscure. Here we report on our dynamic full-field measurements of displacement, velocities, strains and strain rates associated with the spontaneous propagation of shear ruptures in the laboratory earthquake setup. These measurements are obtained by combining ultrahigh-speed photography with the digital image correlation (DIC) method, enhanced to capture displacement discontinuities. Images of dynamic shear ruptures are taken at 1-2 million frames/s over several sizes of the field of view and analyzed with DIC to produce a sequence of evolving full-field maps. The imaging area size is selected to either capture the rupture features in the far field or to focus on near-field structures, at an enhanced spatial resolution. Simultaneous velocimeter measurements on selected experiments verify the accuracy of the DIC measurements. Owing to the increased ability of our measurements to resolve the characteristic field structures of shear ruptures, we have recently been able to observe rupture dynamics at an unprecedented level of detail, including the formation of pressure and shear shock fronts in viscoelastic materials and the evolution of dynamic friction.

Additional Information

© 2019 The Author(s). This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. Received: 31 December 2018; Accepted: 14 March 2019; Published online: 18 April 2019. This study was supported by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) (grant EAR 1321655 and EAR-1651235), and the US Geological Survey (USGS) (grant G16AP00106), and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), contribution No. 6276. SCEC is funded by NSF Cooperative Agreement EAR-1033462 and USGS Cooperative Agreement G12 AC20038. We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Hubert Schreier for developing Vic-2D software to treat interfaces with discontinuities.

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