Repository: Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin, Math Department

Growing Faults in the Lab: Insights into the Scale Dependence of the Fault Zone Evolution Process

Ritter, M. and Rosenau, M. and Oncken, O. (2017) Growing Faults in the Lab: Insights into the Scale Dependence of the Fault Zone Evolution Process. Tectonics, 36 . pp. 1-32.


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Analog sandbox experiments are a widely used method to investigate tectonic processes that cannot be resolved from natural data alone, such as strain localization and the formation of fault zones. Despite this, it is still unclear, to which extent the dynamics of strain localization and fault zone formation seen in sandbox experiments can be extrapolated to a natural prototype. Of paramount importance for dynamic similarity is the proper scaling of the work required to create the fault system, Wprop. Using analog sandbox experiments of strike-slip deformation, we show Wprop to scale approximately with the square of the fault system length, l, which is consistent with the theory of fault growth in nature. Through quantitative measurements of both Wprop and strain distribution we are able to show that Wprop is mainly spent on diffuse deformation prior to localization, which we therefore regard as analogous to distributed deformation on small-scale faults below seismic resolution in natural fault networks. Finally, we compare our data to estimates of the work consumed by natural fault zones to verify that analog sandbox experiments scale properly with respect to energy, i. e. that they scale truly dynamically.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:SFB 1114 Preprint 08/2017
Subjects:Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
ID Code:2166
Deposited By: Silvia Hoemke
Deposited On:14 Dec 2017 09:32
Last Modified:20 Dec 2017 14:28

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