Earthquake fault zones are more complex, both geometrically and rheologically, than an idealized infinitely thin plane embedded in linear elastic material. To incorporate nonlinear material behaviour, natural complexities and multi-physics coupling within and outside of fault zones, here we present a first-order hyperbolic and thermodynamically compatible mathematical model for a continuum in a gravitational field which provides a unified description of nonlinear elasto-plasticity, material damage and of viscous Newtonian flows with phase transition between solid and liquid phases. The fault geometry and secondary cracks are described via a scalar function ξ ∈ [0, 1] that indicates the local level of material damage. The model also permits the representation of arbitrarily complex geometries via a diffuse interface approach based on the solid volume fraction function α ∈ [0, 1]. Neither of the two scalar fields ξ and α needs to be mesh-aligned, allowing thus faults and cracks with complex topology and the use of adaptive Cartesian meshes (AMR). The model shares common features with phase-field approaches, but substantially extends them. We show a wide range of numerical applications that are relevant for dynamic earthquake rupture in fault zones, including the co-seismic generation of secondary off-fault shear cracks, tensile rock fracture in the Brazilian disc test, as well as a natural convection problem in molten rock-like material. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Fracture dynamics of solid materials: from particles to the globe’.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences|
|State||Published - Mar 15 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)