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Initial effective stress controls the nature of earthquakes

Abstract : Modern geophysics highlights that the slip behaviour response of faults is variable in space and time and can result in slow or fast ruptures. However, the origin of this variation of the rupture velocity in nature as well as the physics behind it is still debated. Here, we first highlight how the different types of fault slip observed in nature appear to stem from the same physical mechanism. Second, we reproduce at the scale of the laboratory the complete spectrum of rupture velocities observed in nature. Our results show that the rupture velocity can range from a few millimetres to kilometres per second, depending on the available energy at the onset of slip, in agreement with theoretical predictions. This combined set of observations bring a new explanation of the dominance of slow rupture fronts in the shallow part of the crust or in areas suspected to present large fluid pressure.
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Submitted on : Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 5:13:32 PM
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François Passelègue, Michelle Almakari, Pierre Dublanchet, Fabian Barras, Jérôme Fortin, et al.. Initial effective stress controls the nature of earthquakes. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, 11, pp.5132. ⟨10.1038/s41467-020-18937-0⟩. ⟨hal-02970539⟩

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