Publications

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2016
Mitchell, EK, Fialko Y, Brown KM.  2016.  Velocity-weakening behavior of Westerly granite at temperature up to 600 degrees C. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 121:6932-6946.   10.1002/2016jb013081   AbstractWebsite

The deep limit to seismicity in continental crust is believed to be controlled by a transition from velocity-weakening to velocity-strengthening friction based on experimental measurements of the rate dependence of friction at different temperatures. Available experimental data on granite suggest a transition to stable creep at about 350 degrees C (approximate to 15km depth). Here we present results from unconfined experiments on Westerly granite at both dry and hydrated conditions that show increasingly unstable slip (velocity-weakening behavior) at temperature up to 600 degrees C. A comparison of previously published experimental results with those presented in this study suggests that the rate and state friction parameters strongly depend on normal stress and pore pressure at high (>400 degrees C) temperature, which may help explain regional variations in the depth distribution of earthquakes in continental crust. Temperature dependence of the rate and state friction parameters may also contribute to strong dynamic weakening observed in high-speed friction experiments on crystalline rocks such as granite and gabbro.

2006
Hamiel, Y, Katz O, Lyakhovsky V, Reches Z, Fialko Y.  2006.  Stable and unstable damage evolution in rocks with implications to fracturing of granite. Geophysical Journal International. 167:1005-1016.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03126.x   AbstractWebsite

We address the relation between the rock rigidity and crack density by comparing predictions of a viscoelastic damage rheology model to laboratory data that include direct microscopic mapping of cracks. The damage rheology provides a generalization of Hookean elasticity to a non-linear continuum mechanics framework incorporating degradation and recovery of the effective elastic properties, transition from stable to unstable fracturing, and gradual accumulation of irreversible deformation. This approach is based on the assumption that the density of microcracks is uniform over a length scale much larger than the length of a typical crack, yet much smaller than the size of the entire deforming domain. For a system with a sufficiently large number of cracks, one can define a representative volume in which the crack density is uniform and introduce an intensive damage variable for this volume. We tested our viscoelastic damage rheology against sets of laboratory experiments done on Mount Scott granite. Based on fitting the entire stress-strain records the damage variable is constrained, and found to be a linear function of the crack density. An advantage of these sets experiments is that they were preformed with different loading paths and explicitly demonstrated the existence of stable and unstable fracturing regimes. We demonstrate that the viscoelastic damage rheology provides an adequate quantitative description of the brittle rock deformation and simulates both the stable and unstable damage evolution under various loading conditions. Comparison between the presented data analysis of experiments with Mount Scott granite and previous results with Westerly granite and Berea sandstone indicates that granular or porous rocks have lower seismic coupling. This implies that the portion of elastic strain released during a seismic cycle as brittle deformation depends on the lithology of the region. Hence, upper crustal regions with thick sedimentary cover, or fault zones with high degree of damage are expected to undergo a more significant inelastic deformation in the interseismic period compared to 'intact' crystalline rocks.

2002
Jacobs, A, Sandwell D, Fialko Y, Sichoix L.  2002.  The 1999 (M-w 7. 1) Hector Mine, California, earthquake: Near-field postseismic deformation from ERS interferometry. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. 92:1433-1442.   10.1785/0120000908   AbstractWebsite

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data over the area of the Hector Mine earthquake (M-w 7.1, 16 October 1999) reveal postseismic deformation of several centimeters over a spatial scale of 0.5 to 50 km. We analyzed seven SAR acquisitions to form interferograms over four time periods after the event. The main deformations seen in the line-of-sight (LOS) displacement maps are a region of subsidence (60 mm LOS increase) on the northern end of the fault, a region of uplift (45 mm LOS decrease) located to the northeast of the primary fault bend, and a linear trough running along the main rupture having a depth of up to 15 mm and a width of about 2 km. We correlate these features with a double left-bending, right-lateral, strike-slip fault that exhibits contraction on the restraining side and extension along the releasing side of the fault bends. The temporal variations in the near-fault postseismic deformation are consistent with a characteristic time scale of 135 + 42 or - 25 days, which is similar to the relaxation times following the 1992 Landers earthquake. High gradients in the LOS displacements occur on the fault trace, consistent with afterslip on the earthquake rupture. We derive an afterslip model by inverting the LOS data from both the ascending and descending orbits. Our model indicates that much of the afterslip occurs at depths of less than 3 to 4 km.