Creep rupture of heterogeneous materials occurring under constant sub-critical external loads is responsible for the collapse of engineering constructions and for natural catastrophes. Acoustic monitoring of crackling bursts provides microscopic insight into the failure process. Based on a fiber bundle model, we show that the accelerating bursting activity when approaching failure can be described by the Omori law. For long range load redistribution the time series of bursts proved to be a non-homogeneous Poissonian process with power law distributed burst sizes and waiting times. We demonstrate that limitations of experiments such as finite detection threshold and time resolution have striking effects on the characteristic exponents, which have to be taken into account when comparing model calculations with experiments. Recording events solely within the Omori time to failure the size distribution of bursts has a crossover to a lower exponent which is promising for forecasting the imminent catastrophic failure.
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