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Earthquake Scaling from M-9 to M+9 (or what happens in the lab stays in the lab)


Laboratory earthquakes, referred to as ‘stick-slip’ events, and smaller ‘acoustic emission’ events exhibit characteristics that in many ways make them indistinguishable from natural earthquakes. I will explore different aspects of stick-slip and AE that include scaling, nucleation, frictional heating and melt formation, healing and prediction (or not). Unstable slip results from an interaction of fault weakening and stiffness of the loading frame. Near a critical stiffness, stable slip oscillations and nonlinear effects like period doubling develop. By varying surface properties and machine stiffness, a range of response is produced from stable creep to oscillating slip to repeatable stick-slip. All of these responses have analogues in natural fault behavior.

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