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Keywords:

  • Probabilistic forecasting;
  • Earthquake interaction, forecasting and prediction;
  • Seismicity and tectonics;
  • Statistical seismology

SUMMARY

Following the stress release model (SRM) proposed by Vere-Jones (1978), we developed a new multidimensional SRM, which is a space–time–magnitude version based on multidimensional point processes. First, we interpreted the exponential hazard functional of the SRM as the mathematical expression of static fatigue failure caused by stress corrosion. Then, we reconstructed the SRM in multidimensions through incorporating four independent submodels: the magnitude distribution function, the space weighting function, the loading rate function and the coseismic stress transfer model. Finally, we applied the new model to analyse the historical earthquake catalogues in North China. An expanded catalogue, which contains the information of origin time, epicentre, magnitude, strike, dip angle, rupture length, rupture width and average dislocation, is composed for the new model. The estimated model can simulate the variations of seismicity with space, time and magnitude. Compared with the previous SRMs with the same data, the new model yields much smaller values of Akaike information criterion and corrected Akaike information criterion. We compared the predicted rates of earthquakes at the epicentres just before the related earthquakes with the mean spatial seismic rate. Among all 37 earthquakes in the expanded catalogue, the epicentres of 21 earthquakes are located in the regions of higher rates. The map of predicted earthquake rates at the ending time (1997 January 1) suggests that the next destructive earthquake in North China is likely to occur in the regions south of Datong, north of Beijing and east of Hejian.