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Extension of Gutenberg-Richter distribution to Mw -1.3, no lower limit in sight

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1029/2009GL038080

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Abstract

[1] With twelve years of seismic data from TauTona Gold Mine, South Africa, we show that mining-induced earthquakes follow the Gutenberg-Richter relation with no scale break down to the completeness level of the catalog, at moment magnitude Mw -1.3. Events recorded during relatively quiet hours in 2006 indicate that catalog detection limitations, not earthquake source physics, controlled the previously reported minimum magnitude in this mine. Within the Natural Earthquake Laboratory in South African Mines (NELSAM) experiment's dense seismic array, earthquakes that exhibit shear failure at magnitudes as small as Mw -3.9 are observed, but we find no evidence that Mw -3.9 represents the minimum magnitude. In contrast to previous work, our results imply small nucleation zones and that earthquake processes in the mine can readily be scaled to those in either laboratory experiments or natural faults.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Extension of Gutenberg-Richter distribution to Mw -1.3, no lower limit in sight
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1029/2009GL038080
Volume
36
Issue:
10
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters