loading page

Collective behavior of asperities before large stick-slip events
  • Weiwei Shu,
  • Olivier Lengliné,
  • Jean Schmittbuhl
Weiwei Shu
EOST/ITES, Université de Strasbourg/CNRS

Corresponding Author:w.shu@unistra.fr

Author Profile
Olivier Lengliné
Université de Strasbourg, IPGS, CNRS
Author Profile
Jean Schmittbuhl
CNRS/Université de Strasbourg
Author Profile


The multi-scale roughness of a fault interface is responsible for multiple asperities that establish a complex and discrete set of real contacts. Since asperities control the initiation and evolution of the fault slip, it is important to explore the intrinsic relationships between the collective behavior of local asperities and the frictional stability of the global fault. Here we propose a novel analog experimental approach, which allows us to capture the temporal evolution of the slip of each asperity on a faulting interface. We find that many destabilizing events at the local asperity scale occurred in the frictional strengthening stage which is conventionally considered as the stable regime of a fault. We compute the interseismic coupling to evaluate the slipping behaviors of asperities during the fault-strengthening stage. We evidence that the interseismic coupling can be affected by the elastic interactions between asperities through the embedding soft matrix. Scaling laws of natural slow slip events are reproduced by our setup in particular the moment-duration scaling. We also evidence an unexpected persistency of a disordering of the asperities through the seismic cycles despite the relaxation effects of the large slip events.
10 Mar 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
13 Mar 2023Published in ESS Open Archive