We study strain localization as an enhanced velocity weakening mechanism on earthquake faults. Fault friction is modeled using Shear Transformation Zone (STZ) Theory, a microscopic physical model for non-affine rearrangements in granular fault gouge. STZ Theory is implemented in spring slider and dynamic rupture models of faults. We compare dynamic shear localization to deformation that is uniform throughout the gouge layer, and find that localized slip enhances the velocity weakening of the gouge. Localized elastodynamic ruptures have larger stress drops and higher peak slip rates than ruptures with homogeneous strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences