We report on the experimental observation of the phenomenon of, spontaneously nucleated, supershear rupture and on the visualization of the mechanism of subRayleigh to supershear rupture transition in frictionally-held interfaces. The laboratory experiments mimic natural earthquakes. The results suggest that under certain conditions supershear rupture propagation can be facilitated during large earthquakes.
Key wordsEarthquake rupture supershear subRayleigh transition
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