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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Pure and applied geophysics 155 (1999), S. 207-232 
    ISSN: 1420-9136
    Keywords: Key words: Earthquakes, earthquake prediction, earthquake precursors, physics of earthquakes.
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract —We re-examine and summarize what is now possible in predicting earthquakes, what might be accomplished (and hence might be possible in the next few decades) and what types of predictions appear to be inherently impossible based on our understanding of earthquakes as complex phenomena. We take predictions to involve a variety of time scales from seconds to a few decades. Earthquake warnings and their possible societal uses differ for those time scales. Earthquake prediction should not be equated solely with short-term prediction—those with time scales of hours to weeks—nor should it be assumed that only short-term warnings either are or might be useful to society. A variety of "consumers" or stakeholders are likely to take different mitigation measures in response to each type of prediction. A series of recent articles in scientific literature and the media claim that earthquakes cannot be predicted and that exceedingly high accuracy is needed for predictions to be of societal value. We dispute a number of their key assumptions and conclusions, including their claim that earthquakes represent a self-organized critical (SOC) phenomenon, implying a system maintained on the edge of chaotic behavior at all times. We think this is correct but only in an uninteresting way, that is on global or continental scales. The stresses in the regions surrounding the rupture zones of individual large earthquakes are reduced below a SOC state at the times of those events and remain so for long periods. As stresses are slowly re-established by tectonic loading, a region approaches a SOC state during the last part of the cycle of large earthquakes. The presence of that state can be regarded as a long-term precursor rather than as an impediment to prediction. We examine other natural processes such as volcanic eruptions, severe storms and climate change that, like earthquakes, are also examples of complex processes, each with its own predictable, possibly predictable and inherently unpredictable elements. That a natural system is complex does not mean that predictions are not possible for some spatial, temporal and size regimes. Long-term, and perhaps intermediate-term, predictions for large earthquakes appear to be possible for very active fault segments. Predicting large events more than one cycle into the future appears to be inherently difficult, if not impossible since much of the nonlinearity in the earthquake process occurs at or near the time of large events. Progress in earthquake science and prediction over the next few decades will require increased monitoring in several active areas.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1420-9136
    Keywords: Seismic gaps ; Earthquake prediction ; Plate tectonics
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract The theory of plate tectonics provides a basic framework for evaluating the potential for future great earthquakes to occur along major plate boundaries. Along most of the transform and convergent plate boundaries considered in this paper, the majority of seismic slip occurs during large earthquakes, i.e., those of magnitude 7 or greater. The concepts that rupture zones, as delineated by aftershocks, tend to abut rather than overlap, and large events occur in regions with histories of both long- and short-term seismic quiescence are used in this paper to delineate major seismic gaps. In detail, however, the distribution of large shallow earthquakes along convergent plate margins is not always consistent with a simple model derived from plate tectonics. Certain plate boundaries, for example, appear in the long term to be nearly aseismic with respect to large earthquakes. The identification of specific tectonic regimes, as defined by dip of the inclined seismic zone, the presence or absence of aseismic ridges and seamounts on the downgoing lithospheric plate, the age contrast between the overthrust and underthrust plates, and the presence or absence of back-arc spreading, have led to a refinement in the application of plate tectonic theory to the evaluation of seismic potential. The term seismic gap is taken to refer to any region along an active plate boundary that has not experienced a large thrust or strike-slip earthquake for more than 30 years. A region of high seismic potential is a seismic gap that, for historic or tectonic reasons, is considered likely to produce a large shock during the next few decades. The seismic gap technique provides estimates of the location, size of future events and origin time to within a few tens of years at best. The accompanying map summarizes six categories of seismic potential for major plate boundaries in and around the margins of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, South Sandwich and Sunda (Indonesia) regions for the next few decades. These categories range from what we consider high to low potential for being the site of large earthquakes during that period of time. Categories 1, 2 and 6 define a time-dependent potential based on the amount of time elapsed since the last large earthquake. The remaining categories, 3, 4, and 5, are used for areas that have ambiguous histories for large earthquakes; their seismic potential is inferred from various tectonic criteria. These six categories are meant to be interpreted as forecasts of the location and size of future large shocks and should not be considered to be predictions in which a precise estimate of the time of occurrence is specified. Several of the segments of major plate boundaries that are assigned the highest potential, i.e., category 1, are located along continental margins, adjacent to centers of population. Some of them are hundreds of kilometers long. High priority should be given to instrumenting and studying several of these major seismic gaps since many are now poorly instrumented. The categories of potential assigned here provide a rationale for assigning prorities for instrumentation, for future studies aimed at predicting large earthquakes and for making estimates of tsunami potential.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1420-9136
    Keywords: Key words: Accelerating seismic moment/energy, earthquake forecasting, critical point hypothesis, self-organized criticality, stress correlations.
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract —There is growing evidence that some proportion of large and great earthquakes are preceded by a period of accelerating seismic activity of moderate-sized earthquakes. These moderate earthquakes occur during the years to decades prior to the occurrence of the large or great event and over a region larger than its rupture zone. The size of the region in which these moderate earthquakes occur scales with the size of the ensuing mainshock, at least in continental regions. A number of numerical simulation studies of faults and fault systems also exhibit similar behavior. The combined observational and simulation evidence suggests that the period of increased moment release in moderate earthquakes signals the establishment of long wavelength correlations in the regional stress field. The central hypothesis in the critical point model for regional seismicity is that it is only during these time periods that a region of the earth’s crust is truly in or near a "self-organized critical" (SOC) state, such that small earthquakes are capable of cascading into much larger events. The occurrence of a large or great earthquake appears to dissipate a sufficient proportion of the accumulated regional strain to destroy these long wavelength stress correlations and bring the region out of a SOC state. Continued tectonic strain accumulation and stress transfer during smaller earthquakes eventually re-establishes the long wavelength stress correlations that allow for the occurrence of larger events. These increases in activity occur over longer periods and larger regions than quiescence, which is usually observed within the rupture zone of a coming large event. The two phenomena appear to have different physical bases and are not incompatible with one another.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-06-27
    Description: From seismicity studies, evidence is presented for several aspects of plate-tectonic theory, including ideas of sea-floor spreading, transform faulting and underthrusting of the lithosphere in island arcs. Recent advances in seismic instrumentation, the use of computers in earthquake location, and the installation of local networks of instruments are shown to have vastly increased the data available for seismicity studies. It is pointed out that most of the world's earthquakes are located in very narrow zones along active plate margins and are intimately related to global processes in an extremely coherent manner. Important areas of uncertainty calling for further studies are also pointed out.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: Tectonophysics; 13; 1-4,; 1972
    Format: text
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 1958-12-01
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 1972-12-01
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 1976-06-01
    Print ISSN: 0956-540X
    Electronic ISSN: 1365-246X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 8
  • 9
    Publication Date: 2006-10-01
    Description: Information on the time intervals between large earthquakes is now available for several fault segments along plate boundaries in Japan, Alaska, California, Cascadia, and Turkey. When dates in a sequence are known historically, as along much of the Nankai trough, they provide information on the natural (intrinsic) variability of the rupture process. Most sets of repeat times, however, are dominated by paleoseismic determinations of dates of older large earthquakes, which contain measurement uncertainties in addition to intrinsic variability. A Bayesian technique along with prior information on measurement uncertainties is used to make maximum-likelihood estimates of intrinsic repeat time and its normalized standard deviation, the coefficient of variation (CV). It is these intrinsic parameters and their uncertainties that are most useful for understanding the mechanics of earthquakes and for prediction for timescales of a few decades. Our estimates of intrinsic CV are small, 0 to 0.25, for several very active fault segments where deformation is relatively simple, large events do not appear to be missing in historic and paleoseismic records, and data are available at or near major asperities and away from the ends of rupture zones. CV is larger for regions of multibranched faulting, overlapping slip near the ends of rupture zones and for data from uplifted terraces at subduction zones. A Poisson process is an inferior characterization of all of the 11 segments we examined. Scenarios used by recent working groups that assume either Poissonian behavior or renewal processes with CV of 0.5+ or -0.2 for the most active fault segments in the San Francisco Bay area likely lead to incorrect 30-year probability estimates. The Hayward fault and perhaps the Peninsular segment of the San Andreas fault in the San Francisco Bay area appear to be advanced in their buildup of stress that will be released in future large earthquakes. Multibranched faulting may account for why the predicted Tokai earthquake in Japan has not occurred as of 2006. Parkfield earthquakes from 1857 to 2004 were characterized by the largest uncertainty of the sequences we studied, CV = 0.37, which may account for the failure of past predictions. The large CV for Parkfield fits our hypothesis that relatively weak fault segments are characterized by more irregular earthquake recurrence. Paleoseismic data from coastal sites along the Cascadia subduction zone are characterized by CVs of about 0.3.
    Print ISSN: 0037-1106
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-3573
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2008-08-01
    Description: A catalog of 383 earthquakes in southeastern New York, southwestern Connecticut, northern New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania, including metropolitan New York City and Philadelphia, is compiled from historical and instrumental data from 1677 through 2006. A magnitude-felt area relationship is used to calculate the equivalent magnitude m (sub b) Lg prior to the advent of abundant instrumental data in 1974. Revised locations are computed for a number of historic earthquakes. Most hypocenters are concentrated in older terranes bordering the Mesozoic Newark basin in the Reading, Manhattan, and Trenton prongs and in similar rocks found at a shallow depth beneath the coastal plain from south of New York City across central New Jersey. Historic shocks of m (sub b) Lg 3 and larger were most numerous in the latter zone. The largest known event, m (sub b) Lg 5.25, occurred just offshore of New York City in 1884. Many earthquakes have occurred beneath the 12-km wide Ramapo seismic zone (RSZ) in the eastern part of the Reading prong, where station coverage was the most extensive since 1974. The southeastern boundary of the RSZ, which is nearly vertical, extends from near the surface trace of the Mesozoic Ramapo fault to depths of 12-15 km. Because the Mesozoic border fault dips about 50 degrees -60 degrees southeast, earthquakes of the RSZ are occurring within middle Proterozoic through early Paleozoic rocks. Which faults within the RSZ are active is unclear. Well-located activity in the Manhattan prong since 1974 extends to similar depths but cuts off abruptly at all depths along a northwest-striking boundary extending from Peekskill, New York, to Stamford, Connecticut. That boundary, which is subparallel to brittle faults farther south, is inferred to be a similar fault or fault zone. Those brittle features may have formed between the Newark, Hartford, and New York bight basins to accommodate Mesozoic extension. The Great Valley in the northwestern part of the study region is nearly devoid of known earthquakes. While few focal mechanism solutions and in situ stress measurements of high quality are available, the maximum compressive stress is nearly horizontal and is oriented about N64 degrees E, similar to that in adjacent areas. The catalog is likely complete for events of m (sub b) Lg〉5 since 1737, 〉 or =3.5 since 1840, and 〉 or =3.0 since 1928. Extrapolation of the frequency-magnitude relationship indicates that an event of m (sub b) Lg〉 or =6.0 is expected about once per 670 yr.
    Print ISSN: 0037-1106
    Electronic ISSN: 1943-3573
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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