Laboratory earthquakes

  • Ares J. Rosakis
  • Hiroo Kanamori
  • Kaiwen Xia
Conference paper


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 words

Earthquake rupture supershear subRayleigh transition 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ares J. Rosakis
    • 1
  • Hiroo Kanamori
    • 2
  • Kaiwen Xia
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate Aeronautical LaboratoriesCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  2. 2.Seismological LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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