A non-stationary epidemic type aftershock sequence model for seismicity prior to the December 26, 2004 M 9.1 Sumatra-Andaman Islands mega-earthquake


Corresponding author: A.R. Bansal, CSIR—National Geophysical Research Institute, Uppal Road, Hyderabad 500 007, India. (abhey_bansal@ngri.res.in)


[1] We study temporal changes in seismicity in Sumatra-Andaman Islands region before the M 9.1 earthquake of December 26, 2004. We applied the epidemic type aftershock sequence (ETAS) models to the seismicity. The two-stage non-stationary ETAS model with a single change-point provides a better statistical fit to the seismicity data than the stationary ETAS model throughout the whole period. We made further change-point analysis of data sets by dividing into two sub-regions. The best fitted models suggest that the seismic activation relative to the ETAS rates started in the middle of July 2000 (about 4.5 years before the M 9.1 earthquake). This includes an increase in the background seismicity rates, particularly in the southern part of the seismogenic zone near the epicenter. A space-time ETAS model also suggests that the background seismicity throughout the entire Sumatra-Andaman Islands area had increased after the change-point time.