The probability that an earthquake in southern California (M greater than equivalent to 3. 0) will be followed by an earthquake of larger magnitude within 5 days and 10 km (i. e. , will be a foreshock) is 6 plus or minus 0. 5 per cent (1 S. D. ), and is not significantly dependent on the magnitude of the possible foreshock between M equals 3 and M equals 5. The probability that an earthquake will be followed by an M greater than equivalent to 5. 0 main shock, however, increases with magnitude of the foreshock from less than 1 per cent at M greater than equivalent to 3 to 6. 5 plus or minus 2. 5 per cent (1 S. D. ) at M greater than equivalent to 5. The main shock will most likely occur in the first hour after the foreshock, and the probability that a main shock will occur in the first hour decreases with elapsed time from the occurrence of the possible foreshock by approximately the inverse of time. Thus, the occurrence of an earthquake of M greater than equivalent to 3. 0 in southern California increases the earthquake hazard within a small space-time window several orders of magnitude above the normal background level.
Additional publication details
FORESHOCKS AND TIME-DEPENDENT EARTHQUAKE HAZARD ASSESSMENT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.