Mechanisms and seismological signatures of rupture complexity induced by fault damage zones in fully-dynamic earthquake cycle models

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Joseph Flores-Cuba, Elif Oral, Benjamin Idini, Chao Liang, Jean Paul Ampuero 


Damage zones are common around faults, but their effects on earthquake mechanics are still incompletely understood.
Here, we investigate how damage affects rupture patterns, source time functions and ground motions in 2D fully-dynamic cycle models. We find that back-propagating rupture fronts emerge in large faults and can be triggered by residual stresses left by previous ruptures or by damage-induced pulse-to-crack transitions. Damage-induced back-propagating fronts are modulated by slip rate oscillations, amplify high-frequency radiation, and sharpen the multiple peaks in source time functions even in the absence of frictional heterogeneity or fault segmentation. Near-field ground motion is predominantly controlled by stress heterogeneity left by prior seismicity, and further amplified within the damage zone by trapped waves and outside it by secondary rupture fronts. This study refines our knowledge on damage zone effects on earthquake rupture and identifies their potentially observable signatures in the near and far field.



Civil and Environmental Engineering, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Physical Sciences and Mathematics



Published: 2024-02-10 21:05

Last Updated: 2024-02-11 05:05


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International