Effects of damage-zone thickness on fault displacement


When viewed as ideal elastic cracks, seismogenic faults are often modeled as decreases from the host rock to the boundary between the core and the damage zone. mode II or mode III cracks in semiinfinite elastic bodies or half spaces. These models normally assume the rock to be homogeneous and isotropic. Such assumptions may be justified and necessary when using closed-form analytical solutions for fault displacement. They are not justified, however, when we attempt to understand fault-displacement profiles along earthquake rupture sites or in paleofault studies. This follows because crustal segments hosting faults are, as a rule, not homogeneous and isotropic, but rather heterogeneous and anisotropic. In particular, the fault rocks commonly form layers or units parallel with the fault plane. Also, the mechanical properties of the rocks next to the fault change as the fault develops (Gudmundsson 2004). During repeated earthquakes in a seismogenic fault zone, two main rock units develop around the fault plane. One unit is the core, located next to the fault plane and normally composed of soft (low Young’s modulus) breccia, gouge, and other cataclastic rocks. The other unit is the damage zone, containing some cataclastic rocks but characterized by fractures of various types...
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