Temperature variations of constitutive parameters can significantly affect the fault dynamics

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Abstract

A rate- and state-dependent governing law with temperature-dependent constitutive parameters is considered on the basis of laboratory inferences. We model the whole seismic cycle of a homogeneous fault obeying to such a law by adopting a spring-slider dashpot fault analog model. We show that the variations of the parameter a (accounting for the so-called direct effect) with the temperature cause the system to enter, at high speeds, in a conditionally stable regime and also in a velocity strengthening regime. Although we do not observe the complete cessation of slip we can see a severe reduction of the degree of the instability of the fault. In particular, the peaks of the sliding velocity are reduced, as well as the developed temperature due to frictional sliding and the released stress during each instability event. Moreover, the recurrence times are reduced of a factor of two with respect to a reference configuration, where the canonical formulation of rate and state friction (with temporally constant parameters) is assumed. The obtained results can help the interpretation of high velocities laboratory experiments and further illuminate the importance of the temperature in the context of seismic hazard assessment. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

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Bizzarri, A. (2011). Temperature variations of constitutive parameters can significantly affect the fault dynamics. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 306(3–4), 272–278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2011.04.009

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