We consider a long strike‐slip fault in a lithosphere modelled as an elastic slab. To the base of the slab a shear stress distribution is applied which simulates the viscous drag exerted by the asthenosphere. The resulant stress on the fault plane may directly fracture the lithosphere in its brittle upper portion; alternatively it may give rise at first to a stable aseismic sliding in the lower portion. In the latter case, stress concentration due to the deep aseismic slip is the relevant feature of the pre‐seismic stress acting on the upper section of the lithosphere. The two cases are examined by use of dislocation theory and their observable effects compared. Different depths of the aseismic slip zone and the presence or absence of a uniform friction on the seismic fault are allowed for. If the model is applied to the San Andreas fault region, where a steady sliding condition actually seems to be present at shallow depth, it turns out that the slip amplitudes commonly associated with large earthquakes are consistent with average basal stress values which can be substantially lower than a few bars, a value often quoted as the steady state basal stress due to a velocity gradient in the upper asthenosphere.

Implications of stress concentration on a strike‐slip fault in an elastic plate subject to basal shear stress

Bonafede M.;Dragoni M.
1982

Abstract

We consider a long strike‐slip fault in a lithosphere modelled as an elastic slab. To the base of the slab a shear stress distribution is applied which simulates the viscous drag exerted by the asthenosphere. The resulant stress on the fault plane may directly fracture the lithosphere in its brittle upper portion; alternatively it may give rise at first to a stable aseismic sliding in the lower portion. In the latter case, stress concentration due to the deep aseismic slip is the relevant feature of the pre‐seismic stress acting on the upper section of the lithosphere. The two cases are examined by use of dislocation theory and their observable effects compared. Different depths of the aseismic slip zone and the presence or absence of a uniform friction on the seismic fault are allowed for. If the model is applied to the San Andreas fault region, where a steady sliding condition actually seems to be present at shallow depth, it turns out that the slip amplitudes commonly associated with large earthquakes are consistent with average basal stress values which can be substantially lower than a few bars, a value often quoted as the steady state basal stress due to a velocity gradient in the upper asthenosphere.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/881378
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