The long-standing conflict between the predictions of elastic dislocation models and the observation that average coseismic slip increases with rupture length is resolved with application of a simple displacement-depth function and the assumption that the base of the seismogenic zone does not result from the onset of viscous relaxation but rather a transition to stable sliding in a medium that remains stressed at or close to failure. The resulting model maintains the idea of self-similarity for earthquakes across the entire spectrum of earthquake sizes.

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