Earthquakes have long been recognized as resulting from a stick–slip frictional instability. The development of a full constitutive law for rock friction now shows that the gamut of earthquake phenomena—seismogenesis and seismic coupling, pre- and post-seismic phenomena, and the insensitivity of earthquakes to stress transients—all appear as manifestations of the richness of this friction law.
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I thank L. Sykes and B. Shaw for comments. This work was partially supported by the US Geological Survey.
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Scholz, C. Earthquakes and friction laws. Nature 391, 37–42 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/34097
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