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Title: Simulating stick-slip failure in a sheared granular layer using a physics-based constitutive model

In this paper, we model laboratory earthquakes in a biaxial shear apparatus using the Shear-Transformation-Zone (STZ) theory of dense granular flow. The theory is based on the observation that slip events in a granular layer are attributed to grain rearrangement at soft spots called STZs, which can be characterized according to principles of statistical physics. We model lab data on granular shear using STZ theory and document direct connections between the STZ approach and rate-and-state friction. We discuss the stability transition from stable shear to stick-slip failure and show that stick slip is predicted by STZ when the applied shear load exceeds a threshold value that is modulated by elastic stiffness and frictional rheology. Finally, we also show that STZ theory mimics fault zone dilation during the stick phase, consistent with lab observations.
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [4] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of Memphis, TN (United States). Center for Earthquake Research and Information
  3. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States). Dept. of Physics
  4. Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States). Dept. of Geosciences
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313; TRN: US1800391
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); LANL Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; rate-and-state; friction; stick slip; gouge; constitutive law; failure
OSTI Identifier: