Rupture Nucleation on a Periodically Heterogeneous Interface
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Abstract In this study we explore experimentally the effects of fault heterogeneity on the rupture nucleation. We conducted friction experiments between two polycarbonate plates, with a periodically heterogeneous friction interface. The rupture propagation is monitored with an ultra-fast video camera by taking advantage of the photo-elastic properties of the material used. We show that the nucleation process does not always consists of a monotonic growth of the rupture velocity. Instead, the rupture front advances with an alternation of slow and fast episodes that accelerates until it reaches a point at which fast propagation dominates. This complex nucleation process is compared to the results predicted by previous numerical studies on heterogeneous interfaces. Finally, we test whether it is possible to describe this complex nucleation process as a homogenized nucleation. We also point out a large variability in the rupture process due to the uncontrolled stress heterogeneity that occurs during the loading process.
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