The importance of Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical couplings and microstructure to strain localization in 3D continua with application to seismic faults. Part II: Numerical implementation and post-bifurcation analysis
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd In this paper we study the phenomenon of localization of deformation in fault gouges during seismic slip. This process is of key importance to understand frictional heating and energy budget during an earthquake. A infinite layer of fault gouge is modeled as a Cosserat continuum taking into account Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) couplings. The theoretical aspects of the problem are presented in the companion paper (Rattez et al., 2017a), together with a linear stability analysis to determine the conditions of localization and estimate the shear band thickness. In this Part II of the study, we investigate the post-bifurcation evolution of the system by integrating numerically the full system of non-linear equations using the method of Finite Elements. The problem is formulated in the framework of Cosserat theory. It enables to introduce information about the microstructure of the material in the constitutive equations and to regularize the mathematical problem in the post-localization regime. We emphasize the influence of the size of the microstructure and of the softening law on the material response and the strain localization process. The weakening effect of pore fluid thermal pressurization induced by shear heating is examined and quantified. It enhances the weakening process and contributes to the narrowing of shear band thickness. Moreover, due to THM couplings an apparent rate-dependency is observed, even for rate-independent material behavior. Finally, comparisons show that when the perturbed field of shear deformation dominates, the estimation of the shear band thickness obtained from linear stability analysis differs from the one obtained from the finite element computations, demonstrating the importance of post-localization numerical simulations.
Rattez, H; Stefanou, I; Sulem, J; Veveakis, M; Poulet, T
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)