Rapid Response

Rapid Response Drilling of Fault: Past, Present and Future

The geometry and mechanical properties of faults are catastrophically altered by earthquakes. The immediate aftermath of an earthquake generates transients as illustrated by afterslip and aftershocks. More precise studies of the temperature, seismic velocity and permeability on causative faults hint at a rich behavior that contains clues to the processes behind the cycle of healing and failure. Key issues that can only be addressed by rapid response include: the energetics of fault slip as reflected in fault friction and heat generation, time-dependent changes in fault zone hydraulic properties and architecture that may play a key role in stress state and conditions at failure, and time-dependent changes in seismic velocity that quantitatively reflect fault healing processes.

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