Heterogeneous slip distribution self-similarity on a fault surface

Ya Ting Lee, Kuo Fong Ma, Yin Tung Yen

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2 Scopus citations


The earthquake slip distribution self-similarity is investigated in this study. We complied finite fault slip models for earthquakes in the Taiwan orogenic belt and global earthquakes to determine the slip distribution self-similarity. Forty-one earthquakes (19 Taiwan earthquakes and 22 global earthquakes) in the Mw = 4.6-8.9 magnitude range were examined. The fault slip exhibited self-similar scaling between the rupture slip and area. The average area ratio (Rs) and slip ratio (Rd) follows a scaling of Rs = 10a - n(Rd). Slip self-similarity implies that a fault rupture exhibits fractal behavior. The scaling exponent can be considered as a measure for the roughness degree of the slip distribution on the fault surface. This study suggests that the slip distribution for large earthquakes (Mw > 7.0) tends to have a more homogeneous slip. Scaling exponents can provide insight into earthquake rupture mechanics and the scaling of heterogeneous slips on the fault surface provides a basis for ground motion simulation for a finite fault for an earthquake scenario, particularly for near-fault motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalTerrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Finite fault slip model
  • Fractal
  • Heterogeneous slip
  • Self-similarity


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