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Seismic activity of the San Francisco Bay region

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

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Abstract

Moment magnitude M with objective confidence-level uncertainties are estimated for felt San Francisco Bay region earthquakes using Bakun and Wentworth's (1997) analysis strategy for seismic intensity observations. The frequency-magnitude distribution is well described for M ???5.5 events since 1850 by a Gutenberg-Richter relation with a b-value of 0.90. The seismic moment rate ??M0/yr since 1836 is 2.68 X 1018 N-m/yr (95% confidence range = 1.29 X 1018 N-m/yr to 4.07 X 1018 N-m/yr); the seismic moment rate since 1850 is nearly the same. ??M0/yr in the 56 years before 1906 is about 10 times that in the 70 years after 1906. In contrast, ??M0/yr since 1977 is about equal that in the 56 years before 1906. 80% (1?? = 14%) of the plate-motion moment accumulation rate is available for release in earthquakes. The historical ??M0/yr and the portion of the plate-motion moment accumulation rate available for release in earthquakes are used in a seismic cycle model to estimate the rate of seismic activity in the twenty-first century. High and low rates of future seismic activity are both permissible given the range of possible seismic-cycle recurrence times T and the uncertainties in the historical ??M0 and in the percentage of plate motion available for release in earthquakes. If the historical seismic moment rate is not greater than the estimated 2.68 X 1018 N-m/yr and the percentage of the plate-motion moment accumulation available for release in earthquakes is not less than the estimated 80%, then for all T, the rate of seismic moment release from now until the next 1906-sized shock will be comparable to the rate from 1836 to 1905 when M 6 1/2 shocks occurred every 15 to 20 years.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Seismic activity of the San Francisco Bay region
Series title:
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Volume
89
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
First page:
764
Last page:
784