The radiated seismic energies (ES) of 980 shallow subduction-zone earthquakes with magnitudes ? 5.8 are used to examine global patterns of energy release and apparent stress. In contrast to traditional methods which have relied upon empirical formulas, these energies are computed through direct spectral analysis of broadband seismic waveforms. Energy gives a physically different measure of earthquake size than moment. Moment, being derived from the low-frequency asymptote of the displacement spectra, is related to the final static displacement. Thus, moment is crucial to the long-term tectonic implication of an earthquake. In contrast, energy, being derived from the velocity power spectra, is more a measure of seismic potential for damage to anthropogenic structures. There is considerable scatter in the plot of ES-M0 for worldwide earthquakes. For any given M0, the ES can vary by as much as an order of magnitude about the mean regression line. The global variation between ES and M0, while large, is not random. When subsets of ES-M0 are plotted as a function of seismic region, tectonic setting and faulting type, the scatter in data is often substantially reduced. There are two profound implications for the estimation of seismic and tsunamic hazard. First, it is now feasible to characterize the apparent stress for particular regions. Second, a given M0 does not have a unique ES. This means that M0 alone is not sufficient to describe all aspects of an earthquake. In particular, we have found examples of interplate thrust-faulting earthquakes and intraslab normal-faulting earthquakes occurring in the same epicentral region with vastly different macroseismic effects. Despite the gross macroseismic disparities, the MW?s in these examples were identical. However, the Me?s (energy magnitudes) successfully distinguished the earthquakes that were more damaging.
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USGS Numbered Series
The radiated seismic energy and apparent stress of interplate and intraplate earthquakes at subduction zone environments; implications for seismic hazard estimation
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey,