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Is there a basis for preferring characteristic earthquakes over a Gutenberg-Richter distribution in probabilistic earthquake forecasting?

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America

By:
,
DOI: 10.1785/0120080069

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Abstract

The idea that faults rupture in repeated, characteristic earthquakes is central to most probabilistic earthquake forecasts. The concept is elegant in its simplicity, and if the same event has repeated itself multiple times in the past, we might anticipate the next. In practice however, assembling a fault-segmented characteristic earthquake rupture model can grow into a complex task laden with unquantified uncertainty. We weigh the evidence that supports characteristic earthquakes against a potentially simpler model made from extrapolation of a Gutenberg-Richter magnitude-frequency law to individual fault zones. We find that the Gutenberg-Richter model satisfies key data constraints used for earthquake forecasting equally well as a characteristic model. Therefore, judicious use of instrumental and historical earthquake catalogs enables large-earthquake-rate calculations with quantifiable uncertainty that should get at least equal weighting in probabilistic forecasting.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Is there a basis for preferring characteristic earthquakes over a Gutenberg-Richter distribution in probabilistic earthquake forecasting?
Series title:
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI:
10.1785/0120080069
Volume
99
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
First page:
2012
Last page:
2019
Number of Pages:
8