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Laboratory Earthquakes

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The goal of the present study is to create model laboratory experiments mimicking the dynamic shear rupture process. We hope to use such experiments to observe new physical phenomena and to create benchmark comparisons with existing analysis and numerics. The experiments use high-speed photography, photoelasticity, and infrared thermography as diagnostics. The fault systems are simulated using two photoelastic plates (Homalite) held together by friction. The far field tectonic loading is simulated by pre-compression and the triggering of dynamic rupture (nucleation) is achieved by an exploding wire technique. The fault forms an acute angle with the compression axis to provide the shear driving force necessary for continued rupturing.


  • Boundary Element Method
  • Compression Axis
  • Infrared Thermography
  • Bimaterial Interface
  • Mismatch Condition

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  • DOI: 10.1007/1-4020-4972-2_12
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© 2006 Springer

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Rosakis, A.J., Xia, K., Kanamori, H. (2006). Laboratory Earthquakes. In: Gdoutos, E.E. (eds) Fracture of Nano and Engineering Materials and Structures. Springer, Dordrecht.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Dordrecht

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4020-4971-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4020-4972-9

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