What controls an earthquake's size? Results from a heterogeneous cellular automaton

SJ Steacy, J McCloskey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The controls on an earthquake's size are examined in a heterogeneous cellular automaton that includes stress concentrations which scale with rupture size. Large events only occur when stress is highly correlated with strength over the entire fault. Although the largest events occur when this correlation is the highest, the magnitude of the correlation has no predictive value as events of all magnitudes occur during times of high stress/strength correlation. Rather, the size of any particular event depends on the local stress heterogeneity encountered by the growing rupture. Patterns of energy release with time for individual ruptures reflect this heterogeneity and many show nucleation-type behaviour, although there is no relation between the duration of nucleation phase and the size of the event. These results support the view that earthquake size is determined by complex interactions between previous event history and dynamic stress concentrations and suggest that deterministic earthquake prediction based on monitoring nucleation zones will not be possible.
    LanguageEnglish
    PagesF11-F14
    JournalGeophysical Journal International
    Volume133
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998

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    cellular automaton
    earthquake
    nucleation
    rupture
    earthquake prediction
    monitoring
    energy

    Cite this

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    title = "What controls an earthquake's size? Results from a heterogeneous cellular automaton",
    abstract = "The controls on an earthquake's size are examined in a heterogeneous cellular automaton that includes stress concentrations which scale with rupture size. Large events only occur when stress is highly correlated with strength over the entire fault. Although the largest events occur when this correlation is the highest, the magnitude of the correlation has no predictive value as events of all magnitudes occur during times of high stress/strength correlation. Rather, the size of any particular event depends on the local stress heterogeneity encountered by the growing rupture. Patterns of energy release with time for individual ruptures reflect this heterogeneity and many show nucleation-type behaviour, although there is no relation between the duration of nucleation phase and the size of the event. These results support the view that earthquake size is determined by complex interactions between previous event history and dynamic stress concentrations and suggest that deterministic earthquake prediction based on monitoring nucleation zones will not be possible.",
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    What controls an earthquake's size? Results from a heterogeneous cellular automaton. / Steacy, SJ; McCloskey, J.

    In: Geophysical Journal International, Vol. 133, No. 1, 04.1998, p. F11-F14.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - What controls an earthquake's size? Results from a heterogeneous cellular automaton

    AU - Steacy, SJ

    AU - McCloskey, J

    PY - 1998/4

    Y1 - 1998/4

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    AB - The controls on an earthquake's size are examined in a heterogeneous cellular automaton that includes stress concentrations which scale with rupture size. Large events only occur when stress is highly correlated with strength over the entire fault. Although the largest events occur when this correlation is the highest, the magnitude of the correlation has no predictive value as events of all magnitudes occur during times of high stress/strength correlation. Rather, the size of any particular event depends on the local stress heterogeneity encountered by the growing rupture. Patterns of energy release with time for individual ruptures reflect this heterogeneity and many show nucleation-type behaviour, although there is no relation between the duration of nucleation phase and the size of the event. These results support the view that earthquake size is determined by complex interactions between previous event history and dynamic stress concentrations and suggest that deterministic earthquake prediction based on monitoring nucleation zones will not be possible.

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