Fault networks and scaling properties of deformation accumulation



Prof. Dr. Ralf Kornhuber, Prof. Dr. Onno Oncken, Dr. Matthias Rosenau, Prof. Dr. Alexander Mielke, Michael Rudolf, Joscha Podlesny

Financial support:

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)


Oct 01, 2014 — Sep 30, 2018


Earthquake statistics reveal scale invariance over 10 orders of magnitude of the earthquake strength as expressed, e.g., by the famous Gutenberg–Richter power law. Well- established explanations for earthquake activity in the lithosphere are based on strain accumulation and stress release along fault networks chiefly in plate boundary zones as described by rate and state dependent (RSD) friction models. However, because of the incompleteness of the real-world record of earthquakes and deformation accumulation beyond the instrumental and historical time scales (decades to centuries), there is a fundamental lack of insight into the multiscale nature of these processes. We propose to explore the scaling properties of the process of deformation accumulation in fault networks by means of an original simulation strategy involving complementary laboratory scale analogue as well as mathematical modelling and numerical simulations. More precisely, the goal of the project is to derive, analyze, numerically approximate, and experimentally validate a multiscale model for fault networks consisting of a hierarchy of effective rate and state dependent friction models on increasing spatial and temporal scale.


07/01/2015: E. Pipping, Subduction Zone Simulations with Rate-and-State Friction, SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences, Stanford, USA

07/08/2015: R. Kornhuber, Direct and Iterative Methods for Numerical Homogenization, 23rd International Conference on Domain Decomposition Methods, Jeju Island, Korea

09/22/2015: R. Kornhuber, Numerical Approximation of Rate and State Dependent Friction Problems, Chinese-German Workshop on Computational and Applied Mathematics, Augsburg

12/10/2015: R. Kornhuber, Direct and Iterative Methods for Numerical Homogenization, Multiscale Seminar, TU Berlin, Berlin

05/26/2016: R. Kornhuber, Multilevel Methods for Elliptic Multiscale Problems, CRC 1114 Colloquium, Berlin

06/20/2016: R. Kornhuber, Towards Multiscale Methods for Deformation Accumulation in Fault Networks, Oberseminar Angewandte Analysis, TU Dortmund, Dortmund