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Quake Catalogs from an Optical Monitoring of an Interfacial Crack Propagation

Abstract : Using an experimental setup which allows to follow optically the propagation of an interfacial crack front in a heterogeneous medium, we show that the fracture front dynamics is governed by local and irregular avalanches with large velocity fluctuations. Events defined as high velocity bursts are ranked in catalogs with analogous characteristics to seismicity catalogs: time of occurence, epicenter location and energy parameter (moment). Despite differences in the fracturing mode (opening for the experiments and shear rupture for earthquakes), in the acquisition mode and in the range of time scales, the distributions of moment and epicenter jumps in the experimental catalogs obey the same scaling laws with exponents similar to the corresponding distributions for earthquakes. The record-breaking event analysis also shows very strong similarities between experimental and real seismicity catalogs. The results suggest that the dynamics of crack propagation is controlled by the elastic interactions between microstructures within the material.
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Mélanie Grob, J. Schmittbuhl, Renaud Toussaint, Luis Rivera, Stéphane Santucci, et al.. Quake Catalogs from an Optical Monitoring of an Interfacial Crack Propagation. Pure and Applied Geophysics, Springer Verlag, 2009, 166 (5-7), pp.777-799. ⟨10.1007/s00024-004-0496-z⟩. ⟨insu-02377826⟩

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