University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars > Earthquakes in a laboratory by squeezing a 3 m rock

Earthquakes in a laboratory by squeezing a 3 m rock

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Maria Marques de Carvalho.

I describe sequences of magnitude 2 5 laboratory earthquakes generated on a 3 meter laboratory rock experiment that provide insights into how earthquakes begin and how earthquake ruptures stop The rock sample is instrumented with arrays of sensors including strain gages and ultrasonic/acoustic emission sensors typically used for nondestructive testing or structural health monitoring applications In the experiment, we slowly load the rock sample with up to 10 MN of force and wait for an instability — an earthquake — to spontaneously rupture the fault, which is the interface between two massive granite blocks Once the earthquake initiates, it ruptures as a shear crack that propagates close to the speed of sound in the granite 4 km/s) Unique to this large machine, some laboratory earthquakes stop before rupturing through the ends of the sample, and this allows us to study the stress conditions required to stop an earthquake rupture and the stress changes near the arrested crack tip The magnitude of the laboratory earthquakes is determined from the recorded vibrations by comparing them to the shock waves of a ball impact with known momentum transfer We also employ finite element models and boundary integral method simulations to assist with the interpretation of the laboratory rupture events

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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