- Journal Article
Seismicity and faulting within the Earth’s crust are characterized by many scaling laws that are usually interpreted as qualifying the existence of underlying physical mechanisms associated with some kind of criticality in the sense of phase transitions. Using an augmented epidemic-type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model that accounts for the spatial variability of the background rates μ(x,y), we present a direct quantitative test of criticality. We calibrate the model to the ANSS catalog of the entire globe, the region around California, and the Geonet catalog for the region around New Zealand using an extended expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm including the determination of μ(x,y). We demonstrate that the criticality reported in previous studies is spurious and can be attributed to a systematic upward bias in the calibration of the branching ratio of the ETAS model, when not accounting correctly for spatial variability. We validate the version of the ETAS model that possesses a space varying background rate μ(x,y) by performing pseudoprospective forecasting tests. The noncriticality of seismicity has major implications for the prediction of large events. Show more
Journal / seriesPhysical Review Letters
Pages / Article No.
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
Organisational unit03738 - Sornette, Didier (emeritus) / Sornette, Didier (emeritus)
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