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Strength statistics and the distribution of earthquake interevent times

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  • Hristopulos, Dionissios T.
  • Mouslopoulou, Vasiliki

Abstract

The Weibull distribution is often used to model the earthquake interevent times distribution (ITD). We propose a link between the earthquake ITD on single faults with the Earth’s crustal shear strength distribution by means of a phenomenological stick–slip model. For single faults or fault systems with homogeneous strength statistics and power-law stress accumulation we obtain the Weibull ITD. We prove that the moduli of the interevent times and crustal shear strength are linearly related, while the time scale is an algebraic function of the scale of crustal shear strength. We also show that logarithmic stress accumulation leads to the log-Weibull ITD. We investigate deviations of the ITD tails from the Weibull model due to sampling bias, magnitude cutoff thresholds, and non-homogeneous strength parameters. Assuming the Gutenberg–Richter law and independence of the Weibull modulus on the magnitude threshold, we deduce that the interevent time scale drops exponentially with the magnitude threshold. We demonstrate that a microearthquake sequence from the island of Crete and a seismic sequence from Southern California conform reasonably well to the Weibull model.

Suggested Citation

  • Hristopulos, Dionissios T. & Mouslopoulou, Vasiliki, 2013. "Strength statistics and the distribution of earthquake interevent times," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(3), pages 485-496.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:392:y:2013:i:3:p:485-496
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2012.09.011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eliazar, Iddo & Klafter, Joseph, 2006. "Growth-collapse and decay-surge evolutions, and geometric Langevin equations," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 367(C), pages 106-128.
    2. Hasumi, Tomohiro & Akimoto, Takuma & Aizawa, Yoji, 2009. "The Weibull–log Weibull transition of the interoccurrence time statistics in the two-dimensional Burridge–Knopoff Earthquake model," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 388(4), pages 483-490.
    3. Hasumi, Tomohiro & Akimoto, Takuma & Aizawa, Yoji, 2009. "The Weibull–log Weibull distribution for interoccurrence times of earthquakes," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 388(4), pages 491-498.
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