Survival of Heterogeneous Stress Distributions Created by Precursory Slip at Frictional Interfaces
We study the dynamics of successive slip events at a frictional interface with finite-element simulations. Because of the viscous properties of the material, the stress concentrations created by the arrest of precursory slip are not erased by the propagation of the following rupture but reappear with the relaxation of the material. We show that the amplitude of the stress concentrations follows an exponential decay, which is controlled by the bulk material properties. These results highlight the importance of viscosity in the heterogeneous stress state of a frictional interface and reveal the “memory effect” that affects successive ruptures.