Earth, Planets and Space

, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 761–771 | Cite as

Gutenberg-Richter statistics in topologically realistic system-level earthquake stress-evolution simulations

  • John B. Rundle
  • Paul B. Rundle
  • Andrea Donnellan
  • Geoffrey Fox
Open Access


We discuss the problem of earthquake forecasting in the context of new models for the dynamics based on statistical physics. Here we focus on new, topologically realistic system-level approaches to the modeling of earthquake faults. We show that the frictional failure physics of earthquakes in these complex, topologically realistic models leads to self-organization of the statistical dynamics, and produces statistical distributions characterizing the activity, notably the Gutenberg-Richter magnitude frequency distribution, that are similar to those observed in nature. In particular, we show that a parameterization of friction that includes a simple representation of a dynamic stress intensity factor is needed to organize the dynamics. We also show that the slip distributions for synthetic events obtained in the model are also similar to those observed in nature

Key words

Earthquakes simulations forecasting stress interactions complex systems scaling systems 


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Copyright information

© The Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences (SGEPSS); The Seismological Society of Japan; The Volcanological Society of Japan; The Geodetic Society of Japan; The Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Rundle
    • 1
    • 5
  • Paul B. Rundle
    • 2
  • Andrea Donnellan
    • 3
  • Geoffrey Fox
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Computational Science and EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaDavis, DavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsHarvey Mudd CollegeClaremontUSA
  3. 3.Earth & Space Sciences DivisionJet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.Distinguished Visiting Scientist, Earth & Space Sciences DivisionJet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA

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