Author(s): Kazemian J, Tiampo KF, Klein W, Dominguez R
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Abstract Many models of earthquake faults have been introduced that connect Gutenberg-Richter (GR) scaling to triggering processes. However, natural earthquake fault systems are composed of a variety of different geometries and materials and the associated heterogeneity in physical properties can cause a variety of spatial and temporal behaviors. This raises the question of how the triggering process and the structure interact to produce the observed phenomena. Here we present a simple earthquake fault model based on the Olami-Feder-Christensen and Rundle-Jackson-Brown cellular automata models with long-range interactions that incorporates a fixed percentage of stronger sites, or asperity cells, into the lattice. These asperity cells are significantly stronger than the surrounding lattice sites but eventually rupture when the applied stress reaches their higher threshold stress. The introduction of these spatial heterogeneities results in temporal clustering in the model that mimics that seen in natural fault systems along with GR scaling. In addition, we observe sequences of activity that start with a gradually accelerating number of larger events (foreshocks) prior to a main shock that is followed by a tail of decreasing activity (aftershocks). This work provides further evidence that the spatial and temporal patterns observed in natural seismicity are strongly influenced by the underlying physical properties and are not solely the result of a simple cascade mechanism.
This article was published in Phys Rev Lett
and referenced in Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change