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Published April 29, 2005 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Laboratory earthquakes along inhomogeneous faults: Directionality and supershear


We report on the experimental observation of spontaneously nucleated ruptures occurring on frictionally held bimaterial interfaces with small amounts of wave speed mismatch. Rupture is always found to be asymmetric bilateral. In one direction, rupture always propagates at the generalized Rayleigh wave speed, whereas in the opposite direction it is subshear or it transitions to supershear. The lack of a preferred rupture direction and the conditions leading to supershear are discussed in relation to existing theory and to the earthquake sequence in Parkfield, California, and in North Anatolia.

Additional Information

© 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 2 December 2004; accepted 16 February 2. A.R., H.K., and K.X. acknowledge the support of NSF EAR 0207873 and Office of Naval Research N00014-03-0435. J.R. acknowledges the support by NSF EAR 0125702.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023