Smaller source earthquakes and improved measuring techniques allow the largest earthquakes in Iceland to be stress forecast (with hindsight)

Wu, J; Crampin, Stuart; Gao, Y; Hao, P; Volti, T; Chen, Y.T.. 2006 Smaller source earthquakes and improved measuring techniques allow the largest earthquakes in Iceland to be stress forecast (with hindsight). Geophysical Journal International, 166 (3). 1293-1298. 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03054.x

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A group of three earthquakes in 2000 June in SW Iceland included the two largest earthquakes in Iceland in the past 30 yr. Previously, temporal changes in shear-wave splitting had not been recognized before these earthquakes as there were too few small earthquakes to provide adequate shear-wave data, and they were not stress forecast, even with hindsight. These large earthquakes were subject to a special investigation by the European Community funded PREPARED Project during which the seismic catalogue was extended to include smaller magnitude earthquakes. This more detailed data set, together with a semi-automatic programme for measuring the parameters of shear-wave splitting greatly increased the number of time-delay measurements. The new measurements displayed the typical temporal variations before larger earthquakes as seen elsewhere: a long-term increase in time delays, interpreted as stress accumulation before the earthquake; and a decrease, interpreted as crack coalescence, immediately prior to the earthquake. The logarithms of the durations of both the implied accumulation of stress and the crack coalescence have the same self-similar relationships to earthquake magnitude as found elsewhere in Iceland. This means that, in principle, the time and magnitude of the larger earthquakes could have been stress forecast in real time had the smaller source earthquakes of the extended catalogue and the improved measuring procedures been available at the time.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2006.03054.x
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Seismology and Geomagnetism
ISSN: 0956-540X
Additional Keywords: Extended seismic catalogue, forecasting earthquakes, improved measuring technique, polarizations, self-similarity, shear-wave splitting time delays
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 29 Aug 2007 09:02 +0 (UTC)

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