Predictive modeling of the seismic cycle of the greater San Francisco Bay region

Journal of Geophysical Research
By:  and 



The seismic cycle for the San Francisco Bay region is synthesized by a model combining the pre- and post-1906 seismic histories. The long-term acceleration of seismic release (seismic moment, Benioff strain release, or event count) in the seismic cycle and the shorter-term accelerations preceding the larger earthquakes within that cycle are modeled using an empirical predictive technique, called a time-to-failure analysis, in which rate of seismic release is proportional to an inverse power of the remainng time to failure. The exponent of time to failure in the accelerating sequences appears to be scale invariant, and the length of the full cycle is estimated at 269±50 yr. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake should have been predictable with an uncertainty of two years in time and 0.5 in magnitude, although the specific location (at Loma Prieta) was not predictable by this technique. If the model is correct, the San Francisco Bay region should be entering a relatively long (20-50 yr) period of seismic quiescence above magnitude 6.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Predictive modeling of the seismic cycle of the greater San Francisco Bay region
Series title Journal of Geophysical Research
DOI 10.1029/93JB00357
Volume 98
Issue B6
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Description 13 p.
First page 9871
Last page 9883
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial San Francisco Bay
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page