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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 4, 207–211, 1997
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-4-207-1997
© Author(s) 1997. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 4, 207–211, 1997
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-4-207-1997
© Author(s) 1997. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  31 Dec 1997

31 Dec 1997

Size-frequency distribution of earthquakes in hierarchically organized load-transfer models

J. B. Gómez1 and A. F. Pacheco2 J. B. Gómez and A. F. Pacheco
  • 1Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2Departamento de Físics Teórica, Universidad de Zaragoza, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain

Abstract. Large hierarchically organized sets of elements (simulating asperities in a fault) are loaded to the point of complete failure. The fracture thresholds of individual elements are stochastically distributed, and the hierarchical structure for load-transfer is of the fractal-tree type. During the breakdown process there occur bursts (earthquakes) of several elements breaking simultaneously at a given load. Using Monte Carlo simulations we compute the frequency of bursts versus their size. This shows a gross power-law behaviour superimposed by a wavy pattern closely related to the coordination number of the fractal tree used for the load-transfer structure.

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