Export 74 results:
Sort by: [ Author  (Asc)] Title Type Year
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 
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.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y.  2010.  Fourier-domain Green's function for an elastic semi-infinite solid under gravity, with applications to earthquake and volcano deformation. Geophysical Journal International. 182:568-582.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04655.x   AbstractWebsite

We present an analytic solution in the Fourier domain for an elastic deformation in a semi-infinite solid due to an arbitrary surface traction. We generalize the so-called Boussinesq's and Cerruti's problems to include a restoring buoyancy boundary condition at the surface. Buoyancy due to a large density contrast at the Earth's surface is an approximation to the full effect of gravity that neglects the perturbation of the gravitational potential and the change in density in the interior. Using the perturbation method, and assuming that the effect of gravity is small compared to the elastic deformation, we derive an approximation in the space domain to the Boussinesq's problem that accounts for a buoyancy boundary condition at the surface. The Fourier- and space-domain solutions are shown to be in good agreement. Numerous problems of elastostatic or quasi-static time-dependent deformation relevant to faulting in the Earth's interior (including inelastic deformation) can be modelled using equivalent body forces and surface tractions. Solving the governing equations with the elastic Green's function in the space domain can be impractical as the body force can be distributed over a large volume. We present a computationally efficient method to evaluate the elastic deformation in a 3-D half space due to the presence of an arbitrary distribution of internal forces and tractions at the surface of the half space. We first evaluate the elastic deformation in a periodic Cartesian volume in the Fourier domain, then use the analytic solutions to the generalized Boussinesq's and Cerruti's problems to satisfy the prescribed mixed boundary condition at the surface. We show some applications for magmatic intrusions and faulting. This approach can be used to solve elastostatic problems involving spatially heterogeneous elastic properties (by employing a homogenization method) and time-dependent problems such as non-linear viscoelastic relaxation, poroelastic rebound and non-steady fault creep under the assumption of spatially homogeneous elastic properties.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Sandwell D.  2008.  Effect of a compliant fault zone on the inferred earthquake slip distribution. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 113   10.1029/2007jb005256   AbstractWebsite

We present a new semi-analytic method to evaluate the deformation due to a screw dislocation in arbitrarily heterogeneous and/or anisotropic elastic half plane. The method employs integral transformations to reduce the governing partial differential equations to the integral Fredholm equation of the second kind. Dislocation sources, as well as spatial perturbations in the elastic properties are modeled using equivalent body forces. The solution to the Fredholm equation is obtained in the Fourier domain using a method of successive over-relaxation, and is mapped into the spatial domain using the inverse Fast Fourier Transform. We apply this method to investigate the effect of a soft damage zone around an earthquake fault on the co-seismic displacement field, and on the earthquake slip distribution inferred from inversions of geodetic data. In the presence of a kilometer-wide damage zone with a reduction of the effective shear modulus of a factor of 2, inversions that assume a laterally homogeneous model tend to underestimate the amount of slip in the middle of the seismogenic layer by as much as 20%. This bias may accentuate the inferred maxima in the seismic moment release at depth between 3-6 km suggested by previous studies of large strike-slip earthquakes.

Barbot, S, Hamiel Y, Fialko Y.  2008.  Space geodetic investigation of the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the 2003 M(w)7.2 Altai earthquake: Implications for the local lithospheric rheology. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 113   10.1029/2007jb005063   AbstractWebsite

We use Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar data and SPOT optical imagery to investigate the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the 27 September 2003, M(w)7.2 Altai earthquake, which occurred in the Chuya Basin near the Russia-China-Mongolia border. On the basis of the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and SPOT data, we determined the rupture location and developed a coseismic slip model for the Altai earthquake. The inferred rupture location is in a good agreement with field observations, and the geodetic moment from our slip model is consistent with the seismic moment determined from the teleseismic data. While the epicentral area of the Altai earthquake is not optimal for radar interferometry (in particular, due to temporal decorrelation), we were able to detect a transient signal over a time period of 3 years following the earthquake. The signal is robust in that it allows us to discriminate among several commonly assumed mechanisms of postseismic relaxation. We find that the postearthquake interferometric SAR data do not warrant poroelastic rebound in the upper crust. The observed deformation also disagrees with linear viscoelastic relaxation in the upper mantle or lower crust, giving rise to a lower bound on the dynamic viscosity of the lower crust of the order of 10(19) Pa s. The data can be explained in terms of fault slip within the seismogenic zone, on the periphery of areas with high coseismic slip. Most of the postseismic deformation can be explained in terms of seismic moment release in aftershocks; some shallow slip may have also occurred aseismically. Therefore the observed postseismic deformation due to the Altai earthquake is qualitatively different from deformation due to other similarly sized earthquakes, in particular, the Landers and Hector Mine earthquakes in the Mojave desert, southern California. The observed variations in the deformation pattern may be indicative of different rheologic structure of the continental lithosphere in different tectonically active areas.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y, Bock Y.  2009.  Postseismic deformation due to the M(w) 6.0 2004 Parkfield earthquake: Stress-driven creep on a fault with spatially variable rate-and-state friction parameters. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 114   10.1029/2008jb005748   AbstractWebsite

We investigate the coseismic and postseismic deformation due to the M(w) 6.0 2004 Parkfield, California, earthquake. We produce coseismic and postseismic slip models by inverting data from an array of 14 continuous GPS stations from the SCIGN network. Kinematic inversions of postseismic GPS data over a time period of 3 years show that afterslip occurred in areas of low seismicity and low coseismic slip, predominantly at a depth of similar to 5 km. Inversions suggest that coseismic stress increases were relaxed by predominantly aseismic afterslip on a fault plane. The kinetics of afterslip is consistent with a velocity-strengthening friction generalized to include the case of infinitesimal velocities. We performed simulations of stress-driven creep using a numerical model that evaluates the time-dependent deformation due to coseismic stress changes in a viscoelastoplastic half-space. Starting with a coseismic slip distribution, we compute the time-dependent evolution of afterslip on a fault plane and the associated displacements at the GPS stations. Data are best explained by a rate-strengthening model with frictional parameter (a - b) = 7 x 10(-3), at a high end of values observed in laboratory experiments. We also find that the geodetic moment due to creep is a factor of 100 greater than the cumulative seismic moment of aftershocks. The rate of aftershocks in the top 10 km of the seismogenic zone mirrors the kinetics of afterslip, suggesting that postearthquake seismicity is governed by loading from the nearby aseismic creep. The San Andreas fault around Parkfield is deduced to have large along-strike variations in rate-and-state frictional properties. Velocity strengthening areas may be responsible for the separation of the coseismic slip in two distinct asperities and for the ongoing aseismic creep occurring between the velocity-weakening patches after the 2004 rupture.

Barbot, S, Fialko Y.  2010.  A unified continuum representation of post-seismic relaxation mechanisms: semi-analytic models of afterslip, poroelastic rebound and viscoelastic flow. Geophysical Journal International. 182:1124-1140.   10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04678.x   AbstractWebsite

P>We present a unified continuum mechanics representation of the mechanisms believed to be commonly involved in post-seismic transients such as viscoelasticity, fault creep and poroelasticity. The time-dependent relaxation that follows an earthquake, or any other static stress perturbation, is considered in a framework of a generalized viscoelastoplastic rheology whereby some inelastic strain relaxes a physical quantity in the material. The relaxed quantity is the deviatoric stress in case of viscoelastic relaxation, the shear stress in case of creep on a fault plane and the trace of the stress tensor in case of poroelastic rebound. In this framework, the instantaneous velocity field satisfies the linear inhomogeneous Navier's equation with sources parametrized as equivalent body forces and surface tractions. We evaluate the velocity field using the Fourier-domain Green's function for an elastic half-space with surface buoyancy boundary condition. The accuracy of the proposed method is demonstrated by comparisons with finite-element simulations of viscoelastic relaxation following strike-slip and dip-slip ruptures for linear and power-law rheologies. We also present comparisons with analytic solutions for afterslip driven by coseismic stress changes. Finally, we demonstrate that the proposed method can be used to model time-dependent poroelastic rebound by adopting a viscoelastic rheology with bulk viscosity and work hardening. The proposed method allows one to model post-seismic transients that involve multiple mechanisms (afterslip, poroelastic rebound, ductile flow) with an account for the effects of gravity, non-linear rheologies and arbitrary spatial variations in inelastic properties of rocks (e.g. the effective viscosity, rate-and-state frictional parameters and poroelastic properties).

Bassett, D, Sandwell DT, Fialko Y, Watts AB.  2016.  Upper-plate controls on co-seismic slip in the 2011 magnitude 9.0 Tohoku-oki earthquake. Nature. 531:92-96.: Nature Publishing Group   10.1038/nature16945   Abstract

The March 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake was only the second giant (moment magnitude Mw ≥ 9.0) earthquake to occur in the last 50 years and is the most recent to be recorded using modern geophysical techniques. Available data place high-resolution constraints on the kinematics of earthquake rupture1, which have challenged prior knowledge about how much a fault can slip in a single earthquake and the seismic potential of a partially coupled megathrust interface2. But it is not clear what physical or structural characteristics controlled either the rupture extent or the amplitude of slip in this earthquake. Here we use residual topography and gravity anomalies to constrain the geological structure of the overthrusting (upper) plate offshore northeast Japan. These data reveal an abrupt southwest–northeast-striking boundary in upper-plate structure, across which gravity modelling indicates a south-to-north increase in the density of rocks overlying the megathrust of 150–200 kilograms per cubic metre. We suggest that this boundary represents the offshore continuation of the Median Tectonic Line, which onshore juxtaposes geological terranes composed of granite batholiths (in the north) and accretionary complexes (in the south)3. The megathrust north of the Median Tectonic Line is interseismically locked2, has a history of large earthquakes (18 with Mw > 7 since 1896) and produced peak slip exceeding 40 metres in the Tohoku-oki earthquake1. In contrast, the megathrust south of this boundary has higher rates of interseismic creep2, has not generated an earthquake with MJ > 7 (local magnitude estimated by the Japan Meteorological Agency) since 1923, and experienced relatively minor (if any) co-seismic slip in 20111. We propose that the structure and frictional properties of the overthrusting plate control megathrust coupling and seismogenic behaviour in northeast Japan.

Brown, K, Fialko Y.  2012.  "Melt welt" mechanism of extreme weakening of gabbro at seismic slip rates. Nature. 488:638-641.   10.1038/nature11370   Abstract

Laboratory studies of frictional properties of rocks at slip velocities approaching the seismic range (~0.1–1 m s−1), and at moderate normal stresses (1–10 MPa), have revealed a complex evolution of the dynamic shear strength, with at least two phases of weakening separated by strengthening at the onset of wholesale melting. The second post-melting weakening phase is governed by viscous properties of the melt layer and is reasonably well understood. The initial phase of extreme weakening, however, remains a subject of much debate. Here we show that the initial weakening of gabbro is associated with the formation of hotspots and macroscopic streaks of melt (‘melt welts’), which partially unload the rest of the slip interface. Melt welts begin to form when the average rate of frictional heating exceeds 0.1–0.4 MW m−2, while the average temperature of the shear zone is well below the solidus (250–450 °C). Similar heterogeneities in stress and temperature are likely to occur on natural fault surfaces during rapid slip, and to be important for earthquake rupture dynamics.

Cochran, ES, Li YG, Shearer PM, Barbot S, Fialko Y, Vidale JE.  2009.  Seismic and geodetic evidence for extensive, long-lived fault damage zones. Geology. 37:315-318.   10.1130/g25306a.1   AbstractWebsite

During earthquakes, slip is often localized on preexisting faults, but it is not well understood how the structure of crustal faults may contribute to slip localization and energetics. Growing evidence suggests that the crust along active faults undergoes anomalous strain and damage during large earthquakes. Seismic and geodetic data from the Calico fault in the eastern California shear zone reveal a wide zone of reduced seismic velocities and effective elastic moduli. Using seismic traveltimes, trapped waves, and interferometric synthetic aperture radar observations, we document seismic velocities reduced by 40%-50% and shear moduli reduced by 65% compared to wall rock in a 1.5-km-wide zone along the Calico fault. Observed velocity reductions likely represent the cumulative mechanical damage from past earthquake ruptures. No large earthquake has broken the Calico fault in historic time, implying that fault damage persists for hundreds or perhaps thousands of years. These findings indicate that faults can affect rock properties at substantial distances from primary fault slip surfaces, and throughout much of the seismogenic zone, a result with implications for the amount of energy expended during rupture to drive cracking and yielding of rock and development of fault systems.

Crowell, BW, Bock Y, Sandwell DT, Fialko Y.  2013.  Geodetic investigation into the deformation of the Salton Trough. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 118:5030-5039.   10.1002/jgrb.50347   AbstractWebsite

The Salton Trough represents a complex transition between the spreading center in Baja California and the strike-slip San Andreas fault system and is one of the most active zones of deformation and seismicity in California. We present a high-resolution interseismic velocity field for the Salton Trough derived from 74 continuous GPS sites and 109 benchmarks surveyed in three GPS campaigns during 2008-2009 and previous surveys between 2000 and 2005. We also investigate small-scale deformation by removing the regional velocity field predicted by an elastic block model for Southern California from the observed velocities. We find a total extension rate of 11mm/yr from the Mesquite Basin to the southern edge of the San Andreas Fault, coupled with 15mm/yr of left-lateral shear, the majority of which is concentrated in the southern Salton Sea and Obsidian Buttes and is equivalent to 17mm/yr oriented in the direction of the San Andreas Fault. Differential shear strain is exclusively localized in the Brawley Seismic Zone, and dilatation rate indicates widespread extension throughout the zone. In addition, we infer clockwise rotation of 10 degrees/Ma, consistent with northwestward propagation of the Brawley Seismic Zone over geologic time.

Fialko, YA, Rubin AM.  1999.  What controls the along-strike slopes of volcanic rift zones? Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 104:20007-20020.   10.1029/1999jb900143   AbstractWebsite

We investigate the dynamics of viscous pressure losses associated with lateral magma transport in volcanic rift zones by performing (I) coupled elastic-hydrodynamic simulations of downrift magma flow in dikes and (2) analog experiments mimicking lateral dike propagation in the presence of an along-rift topographic slope. It is found that near-source eruptions are likely to be favored by shallow slopes while distant downrift eruptions may be encouraged by steeper slopes, provided that along-rift variations in the tectonic stress are negligible or uncorrelated on the timescale of multiple dike intrusions. This implies the existence of a critical slope to which a volcanic rift zone would naturally evolve. Such behavior is produced by three-dimensional (3-D) elastic effects and is controlled by the ratio of the driving pressure gradient due to the along-strike topographic slope to the vertical gradient in the excess magma pressure in the dike. This model may be viewed as complementary to commonly cited mechanisms that appeal to magma viscosity and the dynamics of freezing of lava flows at the surface to explain the low profiles of basaltic shield volcanoes. Our estimated values of the critical slopes are in general agreement with observations in Hawaiian rift zones, but further development of fully 3-D models is required for more accurate predictions.

Fialko, Y, Sandwell D, Simons M, Rosen P.  2005.  Three-dimensional deformation caused by the Bam, Iran, earthquake and the origin of shallow slip deficit. Nature. 435:295-299.   10.1038/nature03425   AbstractWebsite

Our understanding of the earthquake process requires detailed insights into how the tectonic stresses are accumulated and released on seismogenic faults. We derive the full vector displacement field due to the Bam, Iran, earthquake of moment magnitude 6.5 using radar data from the Envisat satellite of the European Space Agency. Analysis of surface deformation indicates that most of the seismic moment release along the 20-km-long strike-slip rupture occurred at a shallow depth of 4 - 5 km, yet the rupture did not break the surface. The Bam event may therefore represent an end-member case of the 'shallow slip deficit' model, which postulates that coseismic slip in the uppermost crust is systematically less than that at seismogenic depths ( 4 - 10 km). The InSAR-derived surface displacement data from the Bam and other large shallow earthquakes suggest that the uppermost section of the seismogenic crust around young and developing faults may undergo a distributed failure in the interseismic period, thereby accumulating little elastic strain.

Fialko, YA, Rubin AM.  1997.  Numerical simulation of high-pressure rock tensile fracture experiments: Evidence of an increase in fracture energy with pressure? Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 102:5231-5242.   10.1029/96jb03859   AbstractWebsite

High confining pressure fracture tests of Indiana limestone [Abou-Sayed, 1977] and Iidate granite [Hashida et al., 1993] were simulated using boundary element techniques and a Dugdale-Barenblatt (tension-softening) model of the fracture process zone. Our results suggest a substantial (more than a factor of 2) increase in the fracture energy of Indiana limestone when the confining pressure was increased from zero to only 6-7 MPa. While Hashida es al. [1993] concluded that there was no change in the fracture energy of Iidate granite at confining pressures up to 26.5 MPa, we find that data from one series of experiments (''compact-tension'' tests in their terminology) are also consistent with a significant (more than a factor of 2) increase in fracture energy. Data from another set of their experiments (thick-walled cylinder tests) seem to indicate a decrease in the fracture energy of Iidate granite at confining pressures,of 6-8 MPa, but these may be biased due to the very small specimen size. To our knowledge these results are the first reliable indication from laboratory experiments that rock tensile fracture energy varies with confining pressure. Based on these results, some possible mechanisms of pressure sensitive fracture are discussed. We suggest that the inferred increase in fracture energy results from more extensive inelastic deformation near the crack tip that increases the effective critical crack opening displacement. Such deformation might have occurred due to the large deviatoric stress in the vicinity of the crack tip in the Abou-Sayed experiments, and due to the enlarged region of significant tensile stress near the crack tip in the Hashida et al. compact tension tests. These results also highlight the fact that at confining pressures that exceed the tensile strength of the material, tensile fracture energy will in general depend upon the crack size and the distribution of loads within it, as well as the ambient stress.

Fialko, Y, Simons M.  2001.  Evidence for on-going inflation of the Socorro magma body, New Mexico, from interferometric synthetic aperture radar imaging. Geophysical Research Letters. 28:3549-3552.   10.1029/2001gl013318   AbstractWebsite

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (In-SAR) imaging of the central Rio Grande rift (New Mexico, USA) during 1992-1999 reveals a crustal uplift of several centimeters that spatially coincides with the seismologically determined outline of the Socorro magma body, one of the largest currently active magma intrusions in the Earth's continental crust. Modeling of interferograms shows that the observed deformation may be due to elastic opening of a sill-like intrusion at a rate of a few millimeters per year. Despite an apparent constancy of the geodetically determined uplift rate, thermodynamic arguments suggest that it is unlikely that the Socorro magma body has formed via steady state elastic inflation.

Fialko, Y.  2004.  Evidence of fluid-filled upper crust from observations of postseismic deformation due to the 1992 M(w)7.3 Landers earthquake. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 109   10.1029/2004jb002985   AbstractWebsite

Postseismic deformation due to the 1992 M(w)7.3 Landers, southern California, earthquake is investigated using the entire catalog of the ERS synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data, and GPS measurements made between 1992 and 1999. The stacked interferometric SAR (InSAR) data spanning the time period of 7 years between the Landers and the Hector Mine earthquakes reveal a transient postseismic deformation with a characteristic decay time of several years. The horizontal displacements measured with GPS exhibit somewhat smaller decay times of 1-2 years. I use a slip model of the Landers earthquake that fits all available geodetic data [Fialko, 2004] to calculate and compare permanent postseismic displacements due to viscoelastic and poroelastic relaxation. Viscoelastic models assuming weak mantle or lower crust do not agree with the InSAR data in the limit of complete relaxation, implying large (>10 years) relaxation times, essentially nonlinear rheology, or an appreciable yield strength of the lower lithosphere. A combination of poroelastic relaxation above the brittle-ductile transition and localized shear deformation on and below the Landers rupture is able to explain most of the available geodetic data. The InSAR data suggest that pore fluids and interconnected pore space are ubiquitously present throughout the seismogenic layer up to depth of 15 km or greater. The effective hydraulic diffusivity of the upper crust inferred from the kinetics of surface deformation is of the order of 0.1-1 m(2)/s, consistent with the laboratory, field, and deep borehole measurements. The post-Landers geodetic data suggest that discrete narrow fault zones extend into the lower crust and perhaps the uppermost mantle, thus lending support to a "block tectonics'' model of the Eastern California Shear Zone.

Fialko, Y, Simons M.  2000.  Deformation and seismicity in the Coso geothermal area, Inyo County, California: Observations and modeling using satellite radar interferometry. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 105:21781-21793.   10.1029/2000jb900169   AbstractWebsite

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data collected in the Coso geothermal area, eastern California, during 1993-1999 indicate ground subsidence over a similar to 50 km(2) region that approximately coincides with the production area of the Coso geothermal plant. The maximum subsidence rate in the peak of the anomaly is similar to 3.5 cm yr(-1), and the average volumetric rate of subsidence is of the order of 10(6) m(3) yr(-1). The radar interferograms reveal a complex deformation pattern, with at least two irregular subsidence peaks in the northern part of the anomaly and a region of relative uplift on the south. We invert the InSAR displacement data for the positions, geometry, and relative strengths of the deformation sources at depth using a nonlinear least squares minimization algorithm. We use elastic solutions for a prolate uniformly pressurized spheroidal cavity in a semi-infinite body as basis functions for our inversions. Source depths inferred from our simulations range from 1 to 3 km, which corresponds to the production depths of the Coso geothermal plant. Underpressures in the geothermal reservoir inferred from the inversion are of the order of 0.1-1 MPa (except a few abnormally high underpressures that are apparently biased toward the small source dimensions). Analysis of the InSAR data covering consecutive time intervals indicates that the depths and/or horizontal extent of the deformation sources may increase with time. This increase presumably reflects increasing volumes of the subsurface reservoir affected by the geothermal exploitation. We show that clusters of microearthquakes associated with the geothermal power operation may result from perturbations in the pore fluid pressure, as well as normal and shear stresses caused by the deflation of the geothermal reservoir.

Fialko, Y, Sandwell D, Agnew D, Simons M, Shearer P, Minster B.  2002.  Deformation on nearby faults induced by the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake. Science. 297:1858-1862.   10.1126/science.1074671   AbstractWebsite

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar observations of surface deformation due to the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake reveal motion on several nearby faults of the eastern California shear zone. We document both vertical and horizontal displacements of several millimeters to several centimeters across kilometer-wide zones centered on pre-existing faults. Portions of some faults experienced retrograde (that is, opposite to their long-term geologic slip) motion during or shortly after the earthquake. The observed deformation likely represents elastic response of compliant fault zones to the permanent co-seismic stress changes. The induced fault displacements imply decreases in the effective shear modulus within the kilometer-wide fault zones, indicating that the latter are mechanically distinct from the ambient crustal rocks.

Fialko, YA, Rubin AM.  1998.  Thermodynamics of lateral dike propagation: Implications for crustal accretion at slow spreading mid-ocean ridges. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 103:2501-2514.   10.1029/97jb03105   AbstractWebsite

We consider solidification of hot fluid flowing through a rigid-wall channel of infinite extent. The calculated "thermal arrest" lengths are used to investigate the role of magma freezing in limiting the propagation distance of lateral dike intrusions. Our results demonstrate that for reasonable parameters the propagation distances of meter-wide dikes do not exceed the wavelength of crustal thickness variations or transform fault spacing along slow spreading ridges. This suggests that thermal controls on the crustal melt delivery system could be an important factor in modulating these variations. Unlike published results for a finite channel, which predict unlimited meltback of the channel walls if the prefreezing fluid velocity exceeds some critical value, any flow into an infinite channel will eventually freeze, provided that shear heating in the magma is negligible. The thermal arrest distances depend strongly on the average dike thickness h (proportional to h(4) for dikes driven by an along-strike topographic slope and proportional to h(2) for dikes driven by an excess source pressure). Thermal erosion of the country rocks associated with lateral dike intrusions is likely to be confined to a very small region near the ma,oma source. Substantial correlations between the along-strike bathymetry and geochemistry of the erupted lavas along individual ridge segments may be consistent with high-level basalt fractionation in the laterally propagating dikes.

Fialko, Y, Khazan Y.  2005.  Fusion by earthquake fault friction: Stick or slip? Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 110   10.1029/2005jb003869   AbstractWebsite

[1] Field observations of pseudotachylites and experimental studies of high-speed friction indicate that melting on a slipping interface may significantly affect the magnitude of shear stresses resisting slip. We investigate the effects of rock melting on the dynamic friction using theoretical models of shear heating that couple heat transfer, thermodynamics of phase transitions, and fluid mechanics. Results of laboratory experiments conducted at high ( order of m/s) slip velocities but low ( order of MPa) normal stresses suggest that the onset of frictional melting may give rise to substantial increases in the effective fault strength, presumably due to viscous effects. However, extrapolation of the modeling results to in situ conditions suggests that the efficiency of viscous braking is significantly reduced under high normal and shear stresses. When transient increases in the dynamic fault strength due to fusion are not sufficient to inhibit slip, decreases in the effective melt viscosity due to shear heating and melting of clasts drastically decrease the dynamic friction, resulting in a nearly complete stress drop ("thermal runaway''). The amount of energy dissipation associated with the formation of pseudotachylites is governed by the temperature dependence of melt viscosity and the average clast size in the fault gouge prior to melting. Clasts from a coarse-grained gouge have lower chances of survival in a pseudotachylite due to a higher likelihood of nonequilibrium overheating. The maximum temperature and energy dissipation attainable on the fault surface are ultimately limited by either the rock solidus ( via viscous braking, and slip arrest) or liquidus ( via thermal runaway and vanishing resistance to sliding). Our modeling results indicate that the thermally activated fault strengthening and rupture arrest are unlikely to occur in most mafic protoliths but might be relevant for quartz-rich rocks, especially at shallow (< 5 - 7 km) depths where the driving shear stress is relatively low.

Fialko, Y, Simons M, Agnew D.  2001.  The complete (3-D) surface displacement field in the epicentral area of the 1999 M(w)7.1 Hector Mine earthquake, California, from space geodetic observations. Geophysical Research Letters. 28:3063-3066.   10.1029/2001gl013174   AbstractWebsite

We use Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data to derive continuous maps for three orthogonal components of the co-seismic surface displacement field due to the 1999 M-w 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake in southern California. Vertical and horizontal displacements are both predominantly antisymmetric with respect to the fault plane, consistent with predictions of linear elastic models of deformation for a strike-slip fault. Some deviations from symmetry apparent in the surface displacement data may result from complexity in the fault geometry.

Fialko, Y.  2007.  Fracture and Frictional Mechanics - Theory. Treatise on geophysics. 4( Schubert G, Ed.)., Amsterdam ; Boston: Elsevier
Fialko, Y.  2004.  Probing the mechanical properties of seismically active crust with space geodesy: Study of the coseismic deformation due to the 1992 M(w)7.3 Landers (southern California) earthquake. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 109   10.1029/2003jb002756   AbstractWebsite

[1] The coseismic deformation due to the 1992 M(w)7.3 Landers earthquake, southern California, is investigated using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements. The ERS-1 satellite data from the ascending and descending orbits are used to generate contiguous maps of three orthogonal components ( east, north, up) of the coseismic surface displacement field. The coseismic displacement field exhibits symmetries with respect to the rupture plane that are suggestive of a linear relationship between stress and strain in the crust. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data show small-scale deformation on nearby faults of the Eastern California Shear Zone. Some of these faults ( in particular, the Calico, Rodman, and Pinto Mountain faults) were also subsequently strained by the 1999 M(w)7.1 Hector Mine earthquake. I test the hypothesis that the anomalous fault strain represents essentially an elastic response of kilometer-scale compliant fault zones to stressing by nearby earthquakes [Fialko et al., 2002]. The coseismic stress perturbations due to the Landers earthquake are computed using a slip model derived from inversions of the InSAR and GPS data. Calculations are performed for both homogeneous and transversely isotropic half-space models. The compliant zone model that best explains the deformation on the Calico and Pinto Mountain faults due to the Hector Mine earthquake successfully predicts the coseismic displacements on these faults induced by the Landers earthquake. Deformation on the Calico and Pinto Mountain faults implies about a factor of 2 reduction in the effective shear modulus within the similar to 2 km wide fault zones. The depth extent of the low-rigidity zones is poorly constrained but is likely in excess of a few kilometers. The same type of structure is able to explain high gradients in the radar line of sight displacements observed on other faults adjacent to the Landers rupture. In particular, the Lenwood fault north of the Soggy Lake has likely experienced a few centimeters of left-lateral motion across < 1-km-wide compliant fault zone having the rigidity reduction of more than a factor of 2. The inferred compliant fault zones are interpreted to be a result of extensive damage due to past earthquakes.

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.

Fialko, Y.  2006.  Interseismic strain accumulation and the earthquake potential on the southern San Andreas fault system. Nature. 441:968-971.   10.1038/nature04797   AbstractWebsite

The San Andreas fault in California is a mature continental transform fault that accommodates a significant fraction of motion between the North American and Pacific plates. The two most recent great earthquakes on this fault ruptured its northern and central sections in 1906 and 1857, respectively. The southern section of the fault, however, has not produced a great earthquake in historic times ( for at least 250 years). Assuming the average slip rate of a few centimetres per year, typical of the rest of the San Andreas fault, the minimum amount of slip deficit accrued on the southern section is of the order of 7 - 10 metres, comparable to the maximum co-seismic offset ever documented on the fault(1,2). Here I present high-resolution measurements of interseismic deformation across the southern San Andreas fault system using a well-populated catalogue of space-borne synthetic aperture radar data. The data reveal a nearly equal partitioning of deformation between the southern San Andreas and San Jacinto faults, with a pronounced asymmetry in strain accumulation with respect to the geologically mapped fault traces. The observed strain rates confirm that the southern section of the San Andreas fault may be approaching the end of the interseismic phase of the earthquake cycle.