Publications

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2012
Takeuchi, CS, Fialko Y.  2012.  Dynamic models of interseismic deformation and stress transfer from plate motion to continental transform faults. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 117   10.1029/2011jb009056   AbstractWebsite

We present numerical models of earthquake cycles on a strike-slip fault that incorporate laboratory-derived power law rheologies with Arrhenius temperature dependence, viscous dissipation, conductive heat transfer, and far-field loading due to relative plate motion. We use these models to explore the evolution of stress, strain, and thermal regime on "geologic" timescales (similar to 10(6)-10(7) years), as well as on timescales of the order of the earthquake recurrence (similar to 10(2) years). Strain localization in the viscoelastic medium results from thermomechanical coupling and power law dependence of strain rate on stress. For conditions corresponding to the San Andreas fault (SAF), the predicted width of the shear zone in the lower crust is similar to 3-5 km; this shear zone accommodates more than 50% of the far-field plate motion. Coupled thermomechanical models predict a single-layer lithosphere in case of "dry" composition of the lower crust and upper mantle, and a "jelly sandwich" lithosphere in case of "wet" composition. Deviatoric stress in the lithosphere in our models is relatively insensitive to the water content, the far-field loading rate, and the fault strength and is of the order of 10(2) MPa. Thermomechanical coupling gives rise to an inverse correlation between the fault slip rate and the ductile strength of the lithosphere. We show that our models are broadly consistent with geodetic and heat flow constrains from the SAF in Northern California. Models suggest that the regionally elevated heat flow around the SAF may be at least in part due to viscous dissipation in the ductile part of the lithosphere.

2009
Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Sandwell D.  2009.  Three-dimensional models of elastostatic deformation in heterogeneous media, with applications to the Eastern California Shear Zone. Geophysical Journal International. 179:500-520.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04194.x   AbstractWebsite

P>We present a semi-analytic iterative procedure for evaluating the 3-D deformation due to faults in an arbitrarily heterogeneous elastic half-space. Spatially variable elastic properties are modelled with equivalent body forces and equivalent surface traction in a 'homogenized' elastic medium. The displacement field is obtained in the Fourier domain using a semi-analytic Green function. We apply this model to investigate the response of 3-D compliant zones (CZ) around major crustal faults to coseismic stressing by nearby earthquakes. We constrain the two elastic moduli, as well as the geometry of the fault zones by comparing the model predictions to Synthetic Aperture Radar inferferometric (InSAR) data. Our results confirm that the CZ models for the Rodman, Calico and Pinto Mountain faults in the Eastern California Shear Zone (ECSZ) can explain the coseismic InSAR data from both the Landers and the Hector Mine earthquakes. For the Pinto Mountain fault zone, InSAR data suggest a 50 per cent reduction in effective shear modulus and no significant change in Poisson's ratio compared to the ambient crust. The large wavelength of coseismic line-of-sight displacements around the Pinto Mountain fault requires a fairly wide (similar to 1.9 km) CZ extending to a depth of at least 9 km. Best fit for the Calico CZ, north of Galway Dry Lake, is obtained for a 4 km deep structure, with a 60 per cent reduction in shear modulus, with no change in Poisson's ratio. We find that the required effective rigidity of the Calico fault zone south of Galway Dry Lake is not as low as that of the northern segment, suggesting along-strike variations of effective elastic moduli within the same fault zone. The ECSZ InSAR data is best explained by CZ models with reduction in both shear and bulk moduli. These observations suggest pervasive and widespread damage around active crustal faults.

2001
Fialko, Y.  2001.  On origin of near-axis volcanism and faulting at fast spreading mid-ocean ridges. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 190:31-39.   10.1016/s0012-821x(01)00376-4   AbstractWebsite

At fast and superfast spreading mid-ocean ridges, such as the East Pacific Rise, a plate boundary is defined by a narrow (tens to hundreds of meters wide) neovolcanic zone within which the bulk of the upper oceanic crust is created. However, detailed near-bottom observations indicate that the volcanic construction may occasionally persist several kilometers off of the ridge axis. It has been proposed that off-axis volcanism manifests tapping of a wide melting region that supplies magma to the ridge axis, or spatial migration of magmatic sources in the crust and upper mantle. We demonstrate that off-axis eruptions may be a natural consequence of variations in magma supply rate even if the ridge axis is stationary in space, and the magma delivery is perfectly focussed at the ridge axis. Theoretical modeling and field observations indicate that off-axis volcanisin may result from magma emplacement in sills that propagate toward the surface after their characteristic horizontal size exceeds their emplacement depth. Volcanic construction and faulting due to sill intrusions may contribute to the formation of abyssal hills, arguably the most abundant relief form on Earth. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.