Elastic Rebound on High-friction Strike-slip Fault

How is stress stored between tectonic plates?

Animation shows the buildup of stress along the margin of two stuck plates that are trying to slide past one another. They eventually rupture along the fault. The rock is deformed as it builds up strain in the plates; stress increases along the contact. Rock is deformed as it builds up strain in the plates at locked plate boundaries. Stress and strain increase along the contact until the friction is overcome and rock breaks. Actual video footage of a grove of oak trees taken by a USGS camera on Sep. 28, 2004. The camera, stationed along the San Andreas Fault, is part of a monitoring effort to increase our understanding of earthquake behavior. This camera records a snapshot image every 5 minutes until ground motion triggers the video camera to record continuously. About 6 seconds into the clip the M6.0 Parkfield earthquake shakes the ground.


Keypoints:

  • Rock is deformed as it builds up strain in the plates at locked plate boundaries
  • Stress and strain increase along the contact
  • When friction is overcome the rock breaks.

Total Time: 33s
Level: Novice

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