The Physics of Jerky Motion in Slowly Driven Magnetic and Earthquake Fault Systems

Karin A. Dahmen, & Yehuda Ben-Zion

Published 2009, SCEC Contribution #1904

Observations indicate that earthquakes and avalanches in magnetic systems (Barkhausen Noise) exhibit broad regimes of power law size distributions and related scale-invariant quantities. We review results of simple models for earthquakes in heterogeneous fault zones and avalanches in magnets that belong to the same universality class, and hence have many similarities. The studies highlight the roles of tuning parameters, associated with dynamic effects and property disorder, and the existence of several general dynamic regimes. The models suggest that changes in the values of the tuning parameters can modify the frequency size event statistics from a broad power law regime to a distribution of small events combined with characteristic system size events (characteristic distribution). In a certain parameter range, the earthquake model exhibits mode switching between both distributions. The properties of individual events undergo corresponding changes in different dynamic regimes. Universal scaling functions for the temporal evolution of individual events provide similar predictions for the earthquake and magnet systems. The theoretical results are generally in good agreement with observations. Additional developments may lead to improved understanding of the dynamics of earthquakes, avalanches in magnets, and the jerky response to slow driving in other systems.

Dahmen, K. A., & Ben-Zion, Y. (2009). The Physics of Jerky Motion in Slowly Driven Magnetic and Earthquake Fault Systems. New York, : Springer.