We study the effects of structural inhomogeneity on the quasi-static growth of strike-slip faults. A layered medium is considered, made up of an upper layer bounded by a free surface and welded to a lower half-space with different elastic property. Mode III crack is employed as a mathematical model of strike-slip fault, which is nucleated in the lower half-space and then propagates towards the interface. We adopt FEM-β, newly proposed analysis method for failure, to simulate the quasi-statistic crack growth governed by the stress distribution in layered media. Our results show that along planar traces across interfaces a compliant upper layer has significant effects on promoting/ suppressing crack growth before/after its extension into the layer and vice versa for a rigid one. This proposes a possibility that surface breaks due to strike-slip faulting could be arrested by deposit layers at the topmost part of the Earth's crust.
- Dynamics and mechanics of faulting
- Earthquake dynamics
- Fracture and faults
- Mechanics, theory and modelling
- Numerical solutions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology