Abstract

A pure mode II (in-plane) shear crack cannot propagate spontaneously at a speed between the Rayleigh and S-wave speeds, but a three-dimensional (3D) or two-dimensional (2D) mixed-mode shear crack can propagate in this range, being driven by the mode III (antiplane) component. Two different analytic solutions have been proposed for the mode II component in this case. The first is the solution valid for crack speed less than the Rayleigh speed. When applied above the Rayleigh speed, it predicts a negative stress intensity factor, which implies that energy is generated at the crack tip. Burridge proposed a second solution, which is continuous at the crack tip, but has a singularity in slip velocity at the Rayleigh wave. Spontaneous propagation of a mixed-mode rupture has been calculated with a slip-weakening friction law, in which the slip velocity vector is colinear with the total traction vector. Spontaneous trans-Rayleigh rupture speed has been found. The solution depends on the absolute stress level. The solution for the in-plane component appears to be a superposition of smeared-out versions of the two analytic solutions. The proportion of the first solution increases with increasing absolute stress. The amplitude of the negative in-plane traction pulse is less than the absolute final sliding traction, so that total in-plane traction does not reverse. The azimuth of the slip velocity vector varies rapidly between the onset of slip and the arrival of the Rayleigh wave. The variation is larger at smaller absolute stress.

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