Abstract

We present a crosslink constraint method for numerically modeling dynamic slip on intersecting faults, without prescribing slip (dis‐)continuation directions. The fault intersections are constrained by crosslinked split nodes, such that the slip can only be continuous on one of the two intersecting faults at a time and location. The method resolves the episodic intersection offset by examining the dynamic fault traction resulting from two sets of constraint equations, one for each slip direction. To verify this method, we modify two benchmark problems, hosted at Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), by allowing a branching fault to step across a main fault. The modified SCEC problem results agree with our expectations that the intersection offset scenarios are dictated by the nucleation patch location and initial fault traction. This new method comes with an open‐source finite‐element code Defmod.

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