Minimal model for the onset of slip pulses in frictional rupture

Kjetil Thøgersen*, Einat Aharonov, Fabian Barras, François Renard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present a minimal one-dimensional continuum model for the transition from cracklike to pulselike propagation of frictional rupture. In its nondimensional form, the model depends on only two free parameters: the nondimensional prestress and an elasticity ratio that accounts for the finite height of the system. The model predicts stable slip pulse solutions for slip boundary conditions, and unstable slip pulse solutions for stress boundary conditions. The results demonstrate that a mechanism based solely on elastic relaxation and redistribution of initial prestress can cause pulselike rupture, without any particular rate or slip dependences of dynamic friction. This means that pulselike propagation along frictional interfaces is likely a generic feature that can occur in systems of finite thickness over a wide range of friction constitutive laws.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number052802
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

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© 2021 American Physical Society.


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