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Revised Earthquake Recurrence Intervals in California, USA: New Paleoseismic Sites and Application of Event Likelihoods

Devin McPhillips

Submitted September 11, 2022, SCEC Contribution #12217, 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #092

Recurrence intervals for ground rupturing earthquakes are critical data for assessing seismic hazard. Recurrence intervals are presented here for 38 paleoseismic sites in California. Eleven of these include new or updated data; the remainder use data previously included in the Unified California Earthquake Rupture Forecast Version 3 (UCERF3). The methods and results are consistent with UCERF3. In addition, revised recurrence intervals are presented at every site. The revised recurrence intervals incorporate uncertainty in the interpretation of paleoseismic evidence, which is expressed as event likelihood. Event likelihood is the probability that the evidence has been correctly interpreted as a unique earthquake. Event likelihoods are estimated here for 85 inferred past earthquakes at eight paleoseismic sites in California, using a single, consistent methodology. The average event likelihood is 0.85. The revised recurrence intervals are 16% longer, on average, than conventional estimates, and their confidence intervals are disproportionately wider. These recurrence intervals are suitable for inclusion in a “grand inversion” rupture forecast, and they may be important for addressing a systematic misfit in the UCERF3 grand inversion. The revised recurrence intervals may also be important for assessing the unusually long earthquake hiatus in California. Other applications may not need to consider event likelihoods because the effects are small relative to typical uncertainties.

Key Words
Paleoseismology, recurrence intervals, hazard

McPhillips, D. (2022, 09). Revised Earthquake Recurrence Intervals in California, USA: New Paleoseismic Sites and Application of Event Likelihoods. Poster Presentation at 2022 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Earthquake Geology