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Journal articles

Common dependence on stress for the two fundamental laws of statistical seismology

Abstract : Two of the long-standing relationships of statistical seismology are power laws: the Gutenberg-Richter relation describing the earthquake frequency-magnitude distribution, and the Omori-Utsu law characterizing the temporal decay of aftershock rate following a main shock. Recently, the effect of stress on the slope (the b value) of the earthquake frequency-magnitude distribution was determined by investigations of the faulting-style dependence of the b value. In a similar manner, we study here aftershock sequences according to the faulting style of their main shocks. We show that the time delay before the onset of the power-law aftershock decay rate (the c value) is on average shorter for thrust main shocks than for normal fault earthquakes, taking intermediate values for strike-slip events. These similar dependences on the faulting style indicate that both of the fundamental power laws are governed by the state of stress. Focal mechanisms are known for only 2 per cent of aftershocks. Therefore, c and b values are independent estimates and can be used as new tools to infer the stress field, which remains difficult to measure directly.
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 4:39:33 PM
Last modification on : Friday, May 6, 2022 - 2:54:35 PM

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Clément Narteau, Svetlana Byrdina, Peter Shebalin, Danijel Schorlemmer. Common dependence on stress for the two fundamental laws of statistical seismology. Nature, Nature Publishing Group, 2009, 462, pp.642-645. ⟨10.1038/nature08553⟩. ⟨insu-03604883⟩

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