pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 161, Issue 11–12, pp 2171–2181 | Cite as

Numerical Simulations of Large Earthquakes: Dynamic Rupture Propagation on Heterogeneous Faults

  • Ruth A. Harris


— Our current conceptions of earthquake rupture dynamics, especially for large earthquakes, require knowledge of the geometry of the faults involved in the rupture, the material properties of the rocks surrounding the faults, the initial state of stress on the faults, and a constitutive formulation that determines when the faults can slip. In numerical simulations each of these factors appears to play a significant role in rupture propagation, at the kilometer length scale. Observational evidence of the earth indicates that at least the first three of the elements, geometry, material, and stress, can vary over many scale dimensions. Future research on earthquake rupture dynamics needs to consider at which length scales these features are significant in affecting rupture propagation.

Key words

Earthquake dynamics earthquake source physics spontaneous rupture fault complexity computer simulations of earthquakes 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyM.S. 977Menlo ParkU.S.A

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