Fault plane with barriers: A versatile earthquake model
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
Copyright 1977 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research
Solid Earth and Planets
Volume 82, Issue 36, pages 5658–5670, 10 December 1977
How to Cite
1977), Fault plane with barriers: A versatile earthquake model, J. Geophys. Res., 82(36), 5658–5670, doi:10.1029/JB082i036p05658., and (
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 AUG 1977
- Manuscript Received: 29 APR 1977
Shear cracks with finite cohesive forces can propagate by skipping past barriers. The barriers left behind may remain unbroken or may eventually break because of subsequent increase in dynamic stress depending on the ratio of barrier strength to tectonic stress. This model can explain a variety of observations on rupture in the earth, including (1) segmentation of the fault or ruptured zone in earthquakes and rock bursts, (2) ripples in seismograms which cannot be explained by path effect, and (3) departure of the scaling law of the seismic spectrum from that based upon the similarity assumption. The model also explains why the simple uniform dislocation model sometimes works better than the crack model without barriers. It also predicts, contrary to common belief, that an earthquake with low average stress drop may generate relatively greater amounts of high-frequency waves than an earthquake with high average stress drop. One important consequence of our barrier model is the possibility of predicting the occurrence of aftershocks by analyzing the source spectrum of the main shock.