International Journal of Fracture

, Volume 138, Issue 1–4, pp 211–218 | Cite as

Laboratory Earthquakes

  • Ares J. RosakisEmail author
  • Hiroo Kanamori
  • Kaiwen Xia


We report on the experimental observation of the phenomenon of, spontaneously nucleated, supershear rupture and on the visualization of the mechanism of subRayleigh to supershear rupture transition in frictionally-held interfaces. The laboratory experiments mimic natural earthquakes. The results suggest that under certain conditions supershear rupture propagation can be facilitated during large earthquakes.


Earthquake rupture supershear subRayleigh transition 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate Aeronautical LaboratoriesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Seismological LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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