Predicting rupture arrests, rupture jumps and cascading earthquakes

Finzi, Yaron and Langer, Sebastian (2012) Predicting rupture arrests, rupture jumps and cascading earthquakes. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117 12: B12303.1-B12303.11. doi:10.1029/2012JB009544

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Author Finzi, Yaron
Langer, Sebastian
Title Predicting rupture arrests, rupture jumps and cascading earthquakes
Journal name Journal of Geophysical Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0148-0227
Publication date 2012-12-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1029/2012JB009544
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 117
Issue 12
Start page B12303.1
End page B12303.11
Total pages 11
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The devastation inflicted by recent earthquakes demonstrates the danger of under-predicting the size of earthquakes. Unfortunately, earthquakes may rupture fault-sections larger than previously observed, making it essential to develop predictive rupture models. We present numerical models based on earthquake physics and fault zone data, that determine whether a rupture on a segmented fault could cascade and grow into a devastating, multisegment earthquake. We demonstrate that weakened (damaged) fault zones and bi-material interfaces promote rupture propagation and greatly increase the risk of cascading ruptures and triggered seismicity. This result provides a feasible explanation for the outstanding observation of a very large (10 km) rupture jump documented in the MW7.8 2001 Kunlun, China earthquake. However, enhanced inter-seismic deformation and energy dissipation at fault tips suppress rupture propagation and may turn even small discontinuities into effective earthquake barriers. By assessing fault stability, identifying rupture barriers and foreseeing multisegment earthquakes, we provide a tool to improve earthquake prediction and hazard analysis.
Keyword Dynamic rupture
Fault damage
Fault interaction
Seismic hazard
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number B12303

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
Earth Systems Science Computational Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 21 Dec 2012, 14:00:02 EST by Yaron Finzi on behalf of Earth Systems Science Computational Centre