Past Confronting Models with Data

16 September 2004
Prof Donald L Turcotte
Time delays are associated with rock fracture and earthquakes. The delay associated with the initiation of a single fracture can be attributed to stress corrosion and a critical stress intensity factor [1]. Usually, however, the fracture of a brittle material, such as rock, results from the coalescence and growth of micro cracks. Another example of time delays in rock is the systematic delay before the occurrence of earthquake aftershocks. There is also a systematic time delay associated with rate-and-state friction. One important question is whether these time delays are related. Another important question is whether the time delays are thermally activated. In many cases systematic scaling laws apply to the time delays. An example is Omori92s law for the temporal decay of after shock activity. Experiments on the fracture of fiber board panels, subjected instantaneously to a load show a systematic power-law decrease in the delay time to failure as a function of the difference between the applied stress and a yield stress [2,3]. These experiments also show a power-law increase in energy associated with acoustic emissions prior to rupture. The frequency-strength statistics of the acoustic emissions also satisfy the power-law Gutenberg-Richter scaling. Damage mechanics and dynamic fibre-bundle models provide an empirical basis for understanding the systematic time delays in rock fracture and seismicity [4-7]. We show that these approachesgive identical results when applied to fracture, and explain the scaling obtained in the fibre board experiments. These approaches also give Omori92s type law. The question of precursory activation prior to rock bursts and earthquakes is also discussed. [1] Freund, L. B. 1990. Dynamic Fracture Mechanics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.20 <br> [2] Guarino, A., Garcimartin, A., and Ciliberto, S. 1998. An experimental test of the critical behaviour of fracture precursors. Eur. Phys. J.; B6:13-24.20 <br> [3] Guarino, A., Ciliberto, S., and Garcimartin, A. 1999. Failure time and micro crack nucleation. Europhys. Lett.; 47: 456.20 <br> [4] Kachanov, L. M. 1986. Introduction to Continuum Damage Mechanics, Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, Netherlands.20 <br> [5] Krajcinovic, D. 1996. Damage Mechanics, Elsevier, Amsterdam.20 <br> [6] Turcotte, D. L., Newman, W. I., and Shcherbakov, R. 2002. Micro- and macroscopic models of rock fracture, Geophys. J. Int.; 152: 718-728. <br> [7] Shcherbakov, R. and Turcotte, D. L. 2003. Damage and self-similarity in fracture. Theor. and Appl. Fracture Mech.; 39: 245-258.
  • Confronting Models with Data