Logo Universitat Bremen
Page path:

The influence of surface roughness on the earthquake potential of faults: a highlight of my PhD dissertation

May 8, 2023, 13:15 Uhr
MARUM Seminar
MARUM Seminar room 2070

Agathe Eijsink

Pennsylvania State University

Laboratory friction experiments can illuminate processes that dictate the sliding behavior on fault surfaces, which in nature happen too deep below our feet to study. By using controlled shear experiment we gain valuable insight to how specific variables can influence the frictional stability and therefore likelihood of earthquakes happening on a fault. During my PhD I have studied three specific variables; surface morphology, host rock stiffness and the lithology of the Hikurangi subduction zone. The surface morphology or roughness of the fault surface turns out to have a direct influence on the frictional stability of faults, where the formation of striations correlates with stable sliding. Surface roughness properties are scalable along many length scales, and may therefore serve as an instrument to link small-scale laboratory finding to larger real-world faults and other frictional sliding processes.