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Springer, Basel

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Correlation of Static Stress Changes and Earthquake Occurrence in the North Aegean Region

Authors: D. A. Rhoades, E. E. Papadimitriou, V. G. Karakostas, R. Console, M. Murru,

Publish Date: 2010
Volume: , Issue:, Pages: 195-212
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A systematic analysis is made of static Coulomb stress changes and earthquake occurrence in the area of the North Aegean Sea, Greece, in order to assess the prospect of using static stress changes to construct a regional earthquake likelihood model. The earthquake data set comprises all events of magnitude M ≥ 5.2 which have occurred since 1964. This is compared to the evolving stress field due to constant tectonic loading and perturbations due to coseismic slip associated with major earthquakes (M ≥ 6.4) over the same period. The stress was resolved for sixteen fault orientation classes, covering the observed focal mechanisms of all earthquakes in the region. Analysis using error diagrams shows that earthquake occurrence is better correlated with the constant tectonic loading component of the stress field than with the total stress field changes since 1964, and that little, if any, information on earthquake occurrence is lost if only the maximum of the tectonic loading over the fault orientation classes is considered. Moreover, the information on earthquake occurrence is actually increased by taking the maximum of the evolving stress field since 1964, and of its coseismic-slip component, over the fault orientation classes. The maximum, over fault orientation classes, of linear combinations of the tectonic loading and the evolving stress field is insignificantly better correlated with earthquake occurrence than the maximum of the tectonic loading by itself. A composite stress-change variable is constructed from ordering of the maximum tectonic loading component and the maximum coseismic-slip component, in order to optimize the correlation with earthquake occurrence. The results indicate that it would be difficult to construct a time-varying earthquake likelihood model from the evolving stress field that is more informative than a time-invariant model based on the constant tectonic loading.



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