Abstract

Steketee noted that in a medium subject to invariable stresses at its boundaries, the introduction of a dislocation surface would always increase the strain energy of the medium. This has been misunderstood to imply that the introduction of a dislocation surface in that situation cannot represent rupture since rupture must be an energy-releasing process. It is shown here that the introduction of a dislocation surface can indeed cause a drop in mechanical energy if the entire system is considered. The proof is formulated in terms of internal strain which, of course, is the appropriate formulation of the earthquake problem.

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