A study of localization limiters and mesh dependency in earthquake rupture

Olsen-Kettle, Louise, Muhlhaus, Hans and Baillard, Christian (2010) A study of localization limiters and mesh dependency in earthquake rupture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 368 1910: 119-130. doi:10.1098/rsta.2009.0190


Author Olsen-Kettle, Louise
Muhlhaus, Hans
Baillard, Christian
Title A study of localization limiters and mesh dependency in earthquake rupture
Journal name Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1364-503X
1471-2962
Publication date 2010-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsta.2009.0190
Open Access Status
Volume 368
Issue 1910
Start page 119
End page 130
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 0103 Numerical and Computational Mathematics
0299 Other Physical Sciences
Abstract No complete physically consistent model of earthquake rupture exists that can fully describe the rich hierarchy of scale dependencies and nonlinearities associated with earthquakes. We study mesh sensitivity in numerical models of earthquake rupture and demonstrate that this mesh sensitivity may provide hidden clues to the underlying physics generating the rich dynamics associated with earthquake rupture. We focus on unstable slip events that occur in earthquakes when rupture is associated with frictional weakening of the fault. Attempts to simulate these phenomena directly by introducing the relevant constitutive behaviour leads to mesh-dependent results, where the deformation localizes in one element, irrespective of size. Interestingly, earthquake models with oversized mesh elements that are ill-posed in the continuum limit display more complex and realistic physics. Until now, the mesh-dependency problem has been regarded as a red herring—but have we overlooked an important clue arising from the mesh sensitivity? We analyse spatial discretization errors introduced into models with oversized meshes to show how the governing equations may change because of these error terms and give rise to more interesting physics. © 2010 The Royal Society.
Keyword Earthquake dynamics
Nonlinear systems
Mesh dependency
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes One contribution of 17 to a Theme Issue ‘Patterns in our planet: applications of multi-scale non-equilibrium thermodynamics to Earth-system science’.

 
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Created: Sun, 13 Dec 2009, 00:02:06 EST