Discrete Mathematical Model of Earthquake Focus: An Introduction

Sergey A. Arsen’yev, Lev V. Eppelbaum*, Tatiana B. Meirova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The process of earthquake appearance in its focus is analyzed on the basis of the oscillation theory. The earthquake focus consisting for simplicity of two blocks (granitic and basaltic) is studied mathematically and physically. The block sizes, density and Young's modulus of the rocks composing these blocks are considered to be known. We assume that the blocks are located on an edge of a regional tectonic fault. The tectonic plate or subplate, moving with a given speed u of shearing, is on the other edge of the fault. The mechanical interaction of the fault edges is due to the friction, which depends on the relative velocity V = u − dx/dt, where x is a coordinate of the concrete block. Physical-mathematical equations of block motion are solved using analytical methods. As a result, we find complete information about seismic vibrations in the focus and their characteristics. The evolutions of kinetic, potential and total energy as well as the function of dissipation in the focus and magnitude of the earthquake are calculated. The computations were carried out at different speeds of movement u. This allowed us to study the dependence of the earthquake magnitude on the velocity u of the main plate. The constructed original model of the earthquake focus unmasks the mechanism of seismic oscillations and their properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4097-4118
Number of pages22
JournalPure and Applied Geophysics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • Earthquake mechanics
  • earthquake sources
  • faults
  • mathematical modelling
  • seismic oscillations


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