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Introduction to special issue: Dynamics of seismicity patterns and earthquake triggering - Preface
(2006)

The Seismic Hazard Inferred from Tectonics based on the Global Strain Rate Map (SHIFT_GSRM) earthquake forecast was designed to provide high-resolution estimates of global shallow seismicity to be used in seismic hazard assessment. This model combines geodetic strain rates with global earthquake parameters to characterize long-term rates of seismic moment and earthquake activity. Although SHIFT_GSRM properly computes seismicity rates in seismically active continental regions, it underestimates earthquake rates in subduction zones by an average factor of approximately 3. We present a complementary method to SHIFT_GSRM to more accurately forecast earthquake rates in 37 subduction segments, based on the conservation of moment principle and the use of regional interface seismicity parameters, such as subduction dip angles, corner magnitudes, and coupled seismogenic thicknesses. In seven progressive steps, we find that SHIFT_GSRM earthquake-rate underpredictions are mainly due to the utilization of a global probability function of seismic moment release that poorly captures the great variability among subduction megathrust interfaces. Retrospective test results show that the forecast is consistent with the observations during the 1 January 1977 to 31 December 2014 period. Moreover, successful pseudoprospective evaluations for the 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2018 period demonstrate the power of the regionalized earthquake model to properly estimate subduction-zone seismicity.

Diese Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit der Annahme, dass den Erdbeben ein selbstorganisiert kritischer Zustand der Erdkruste zugrunde liegt. Mit Hilfe einer Erweiterung bisheriger Modelle wird gezeigt, dass ein solcher Zustand nicht nur für die Grössenverteilung der Erdbeben (Gutenberg-Richter Gesetz), sondern auch für das beobachtete raumzeitliche Auftreten, z.B. für das Omori-Gesetz für Nachbebenserien, verantwortlich sein kann. Desweiteren wird die Frage nach der Vorhersagbarkeit grosser Erdbeben in solchen Modellsimulationen untersucht.

Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Musterdynamik und Angewandte Fernerkundung Workshop vom 9. - 10. Februar 2006

In low-seismicity regions, such as France or Germany, the estimation of probabilistic seismic hazard must cope with the difficult identification of active faults and with the low amount of seismic data available. Since the probabilistic hazard method was initiated, most studies assume a Poissonian occurrence of earthquakes. Here we propose a method that enables the inclusion of time and space dependences between earthquakes into the probabilistic estimation of hazard. Combining the seismicity model Epidemic Type Aftershocks-Sequence (ETAS) with a Monte Carlo technique, aftershocks are naturally accounted for in the hazard determination. The method is applied to the Pyrenees region in Southern France. The impact on hazard of declustering and of the usual assumption that earthquakes occur according to a Poisson process is quantified, showing that aftershocks contribute on average less than 5 per cent to the probabilistic hazard, with an upper bound around 18 per cent

The statistics of time delays between successive earthquakes has recently been claimed to be universal and to show the existence of clustering beyond the duration of aftershock bursts. We demonstrate that these claims are unjustified. Stochastic simulations with Poissonian background activity and triggered Omori-type aftershock sequences are shown to reproduce the interevent-time distributions observed on different spatial and magnitude scales in California. Thus the empirical distribution can be explained without any additional long-term clustering. Furthermore, we find that the shape of the interevent-time distribution, which can be approximated by the gamma distribution, is determined by the percentage of main-shocks in the catalog. This percentage can be calculated by the mean and variance of the interevent times and varies between 5% and 90% for different regions in California. Our investigation of stochastic simulations indicates that the interevent-time distribution provides a nonparametric reconstruction of the mainshock magnitude-frequency distribution that is superior to standard declustering algorithm

[1] According to the well-known Coulomb failure criterion the variation of either stress or pore pressure can result in earthquake rupture. Aftershock sequences characterized by the Omori law are often assumed to be the consequence of varying stress, whereas earthquake swarms are thought to be triggered by fluid intrusions. The role of stress triggering can be analyzed by modeling solely three-dimensional (3-D) elastic stress changes in the crust, but fluid flows which initiate seismicity cannot be investigated without considering complex seismicity patterns resulting from both pore pressure variations and earthquake-connected stress field changes. We show that the epidemic-type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model is an appropriate tool to extract the primary fluid signal from such complex seismicity patterns. We analyze a large earthquake swarm that occurred in 2000 in Vogtland/NW Bohemia, central Europe. By fitting the stochastic ETAS model, we find that stress triggering is dominant in creating the observed seismicity patterns and explains the observed fractal interevent time distribution. External forcing, identified with pore pressure changes due to fluid intrusion, is found to directly trigger only a few percent of the total activity. However, temporal deconvolution indicates that a pronounced fluid signal initiated the swarm. These results are confirmed by our analogous investigation of model simulations in which earthquakes are triggered by fluid intrusion as well as stress transfers on a fault plane embedded in a 3-D elastic half-space. The deconvolution procedure based on the ETAS model is able to reveal the underlying pore pressure variations

We show that realistic aftershock sequences with space-time characteristics compatible with observations are generated by a model consisting of brittle fault segments separated by creeping zones. The dynamics of the brittle regions is governed by static/kinetic friction, 3D elastic stress transfer and small creep deformation. The creeping parts are characterized by high ongoing creep velocities. These regions store stress during earthquake failures and then release it in the interseismic periods. The resulting postseismic deformation leads to aftershock sequences following the modified Omori law. The ratio of creep coefficients in the brittle and creeping sections determines the duration of the postseismic transients and the exponent p of the modified Omori law

The first step in the estimation of probabilistic seismic hazard in a region commonly consists of the definition and characterization of the relevant seismic sources. Because in low-seismicity regions seismicity is often rather diffuse and faults are difficult to identify, large areal source zones are mostly used. The corresponding hypothesis is that seismicity is uniformly distributed inside each areal seismic source zone. In this study, the impact of this hypothesis on the probabilistic hazard estimation is quantified through the generation of synthetic spatial seismicity distributions. Fractal seismicity distributions are generated inside a given source zone and probabilistic hazard is computed for a set of sites located inside this zone. In our study, the impact of the spatial seismicity distribution is defined as the deviation from the hazard value obtained for a spatially uniform seismicity distribution. From the generation of a large number of synthetic distributions, the correlation between the fractal dimension D and the impact is derived. The results show that the assumption of spatially uniform seismicity tends to bias the hazard to higher values. The correlation can be used to determine the systematic biases and uncertainties for hazard estimations in real cases, where the fractal dimension has been determined. We apply the technique in Germany (Cologne area) and in France (Alps).