Elastic rebound and stress renewal are important components of earthquake forecasting because if large earthquakes can be shown to be periodic, then rupture probability is time dependent. While renewal models are used in formal forecasts, it has not been possible to exclude the alternate view that repeated large earthquakes can happen in rapid succession without requiring time for stress regeneration. Here a consistency test between time dependent and time independent recurrence distributions is made using a Monte Carlo method to replicate the paleoseismic series on the south Hayward fault. Time dependent distributions with recurrence interval of 210 years and coefficient of variation of 0.6 reproduce the event series on the south Hayward 5 times more often than any exponential distribution: a highly significant difference as determined using a two-tailed Z-test for relative proportions. Therefore large Hayward fault earthquakes are quasi-periodic and are most consistent with a stress renewal process.
Additional publication details
Earthquake recurrence on the south Hayward fault is most consistent with a time dependent, renewal process