pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 142, Issue 3–4, pp 735–747 | Cite as

Frictional heat generation and seismic radiation in a foam rubber model of earthquakes

  • Abdolrasool Anooshehpoor
  • James N. Brune
Frictional Slip, Failure, and Deformation Mechanics: Laboratory Studies


Results from a study of stick-slip particle motion at the interface between two stressed foam rubber blocks indicate that normal vibrations and interface separation are an important part of the stick-slip process in foam rubber. The dimension of the dynamic slip pulse is small compared to the dimension of the model (approximately 10 cm vs. 200 cm) consistent with the abrupt-locking slip pulse model ofBrune (1970, 1976), andHeaton (1990). A comparison of frictional heat generation between stable-sliding and stick-slip foam rubber models indicates a linear relation between the temperature increase on the fault surface (for a given distance of slip) and the driving shear force for the stable-sliding model, while for the stick-slip model there is essentially no variation in frictional heat generation with an increase in shear stress. We performed experiments to investigate the ratio of normal motion to shear motion at different levels of normal stress in the stick-slip foam rubber model. Preliminary result indicate that the normal component of the particle motion increases more rapidly with increasing normal stress than the shear component. The phenomenon of interface separation and normal vibrations may thus explain some of the most frustrating problems in earthquake mechanics, e.g., the heat flow paradox, the long-term weakness of major active faults, and anomalousP-wave radiation.

Key words

Fault opening frictional heat heat flow paradox slip pulse 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdolrasool Anooshehpoor
    • 1
  • James N. Brune
    • 1
  1. 1.Seismological LaboratoryUniversity of Nevada-RenoRenoUSA

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