Damage in step-overs may enable large cascading earthquakes

Finzi, Y. and Langer, S. (2012) Damage in step-overs may enable large cascading earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters, 39 16: L16303.1-L16303.5.

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Author Finzi, Y.
Langer, S.
Title Damage in step-overs may enable large cascading earthquakes
Journal name Geophysical Research Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0094-8276
1944-8007
Publication date 2012-08-18
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1029/2012GL052436
Volume 39
Issue 16
Start page L16303.1
End page L16303.5
Total pages 5
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract Seismic hazard analysis relies on the ability to predict whether an earthquake will terminate at a fault tip or propagate onto adjacent faults, cascading into a larger, more devastating event. While ruptures are expected to arrest at fault discontinuities larger than 4–5 km, scientists are often puzzled by much larger rupture jumps. Here we show that material properties between faults significantly affect the ability to arrest propagating ruptures. Earthquake simulations accounting for fault step-over zones weakened by accumulated damage provide new insights into rupture propagation. Revealing that lowered rigidity and material interfaces promote rupture propagation, our models show for the first time that step-overs as wide as 10 km may not constitute effective earthquake barriers. Our results call for re-evaluation of seismic hazard analyses that predict rupture length and earthquake magnitude based on historic records and fault segmentation models.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article # L16303

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
Official 2013 Collection
Earth Systems Science Computational Centre Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 27 Aug 2012, 08:47:37 EST by Yaron Finzi on behalf of Earth Systems Science Computational Centre