Preliminary analysis of earthquake probability based on the synthetic seismic catalog

Abstract

The analysis of seismic hazards relies on the statistical analysis of historical seismic data and the instrumental seismic catalog to obtain the regional earthquake recurrence interval and earthquake probability. The accuracy of analysis thus depends strongly on the completeness of the seismic data used. However, available seismic catalogs are too short or incomplete for the reliable analysis of the statistical characteristics of earthquakes. If a long-term synthetic seismic catalog can be generated using a physics-based numerical simulation, and the simulation results match the crustal deformation, seismicity, and other observations, then such a synthetic catalog helps us to further understand the characteristics of seismic activity and analyze the regional seismic hazard. In this paper, taking the northeastern Tibetan Plateau as a case study, we establish a three-dimensional visco-elastoplastic finite-element model to simulate earthquake cycles and the spatiotemporal evolution of earthquakes on the model fault system and obtain a seismic catalog on a time scale of tens of thousands of years. On the basis that the model satisfies the regional geodynamics of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau, we analyze seismicity on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau using the simulated synthetic earthquake catalog. The characteristics of earthquake recurrence at different locations and different magnitudes, and the long-term average probability of earthquake occurrence within the fault system on the northeastern Tibetan plateau are studied. The results are a reference for regional seismic hazard assessment and provide a basis for the physics-based numerical prediction of earthquakes.

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Acknowledgements

We thank three anonymous reviewers for the constructive suggestions. This work was supported by China Earthquake Science Experiment Project, CEA (Grant No. 2019CSES0112), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41574085, 41974107, 41590865 & U1839207).

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Correspondence to Gang Luo.

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Sun, Y., Luo, G., Hu, C. et al. Preliminary analysis of earthquake probability based on the synthetic seismic catalog. Sci. China Earth Sci. 63, 985–998 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-019-9582-9

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Keywords

  • Synthetic seismic catalog
  • Seismic hazard
  • Recurrence interval of earthquakes
  • Earthquake probability
  • Northeastern Tibetan Plateau