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The Missing Sinks: Slip Localization in Faults, Damage Zones, and the Seismic Energy Budget
 

Summary: 217
The Missing Sinks: Slip Localization in Faults, Damage
Zones, and the Seismic Energy Budget
Zoe K. Shipton1, James P. Evans2,
Rachel E. Abercrombie3, and Emily E. Brodsky4
The majority of work done during an earthquake may be consumed by dissipa-
tive processes that occur within geometrically and mechanically complex fault
zones, rather than radiated as seismic waves. Many processes are likely to act
as dissipative energy sinks in a three-dimensional faulted volume: slip along the
principal slip zone is likely to be accompanied by deformation in the surround-
ing damage zone volume. Examination of exhumed fault zones in granite, which
are meters to tens of kilometers long, shows thin principal slip zones develop-
ing on the smallest faults. As slip is accumulated on progressively larger faults,
the principal slip zones remain less than 10 cm wide, but there is increasing
complexity in the damage zone of the larger faults. By considering the amount
of energy required to crush fine-grained gouge in the principal slip zone, and
the grain size of gouge reported from other (seismogenic) faults, we conclude
that principal slip zones must remain relatively thin for all sizes of rupture. Any
energy consumed by dissipative processes in the damage zone will therefore tend
to make the principal slip zone thinner, and will reduce the energy available to

  

Source: Abercrombie, Rachel E. - Department of Earth Sciences, Boston University

 

Collections: Geosciences