abstract

During the deformation of rock in laboratory experiments, small cracking events, i.e., microfractures, occur which radiate elastic waves in a manner similar to earthquakes. These radiations were detected during uniaxial and triaxial compression tests and their frequency-magnitude relation studied. They were found to obey the Gutenberg and Richter relation

 
logN=a+bM

Where N is the number of events which occurred of magnitude M, and a and b constants. The dependence of the parameter b on rock type, stress, and confining pressure was studied. It was found to depend primarily on stress, in a characteristic way. The frequency-magnitude relation for events which accompanied frictional sliding and deformation of a ductile rock was found to have a much higher b value than that observed in brittle rock. The Gutenberg and Richter formulation of the frequency-magnitude relation was derived from a statistical model of rock and crustal deformation. This analysis demonstrates the basis of similarity between rock deformation experiments in the laboratory and deformation of the crust.

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