Earthquake nucleation

Comparison of nucleation for different asperity properties

While many large earthquakes are preceded by observable foreshocks, the mechanism responsible for the occurrence of these smaller‐scale seismic events remains uncertain. One physical explanation of foreshocks with growing support is that they are produced by the interaction of slow slip with fault heterogeneity. Inspired by the suggestion from laboratory experiments that foreshocks occur on fault asperities (bumps), we explore rate‐and‐state fault models with heterogeneous frictional properties and investigate the consequences on both smaller-scale and larger-scale earthquake nucleation.

This work is also in collaboration with Caltech.

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Natalie Schaal
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Publications

While many large earthquakes are preceded by observable foreshocks, the mechanism responsible for the occurrence of these smaller‐scale …