A fault with two asperities with different areas and strengths is considered. The fault is treated as a dynamical system with two state variables (the slip deficits of the asperities) and four dynamic modes, for which complete analytical solutions are provided. The seismic events generated by the fault can be discriminated in terms of a variable related with the difference between the slip deficits of the asperities at the beginning of the interseismic interval preceding the event. The effect of the difference between the asperity areas on several features of the model, such as the force rates on the asperities, the slip duration and amplitude, the occurrence of events involving the simultaneous motion of the asperities and the radiation of elastic waves, is discussed. As an application, the \(M_w\) 8.0 2007 Pisco, Peru, earthquake is considered: it is modelled as a two-mode event due to the consecutive failure of two asperities, one almost twice as large as the other. The source function and final seismic moment predicted by the model are found to be in good agreement with observations.
Fault model Asperity model Asperity size 2007 Pisco earthquake
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The authors are thankful to the editor Roussos Dimitrakopoulos and to two anonymous referees for their useful comments on the first version of the paper.
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