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Variation, Correlation, and Recurrence in Topologically Realistic, System-Level Earthquake Simulations

John B. Rundle, Paul B. Rundle, Andrea Donnellan, William Klein, Donald L. Turcotte, & Geoffrey Fox

Accepted 2005, SCEC Contribution #793

We focus on new, topologically realistic system-level approaches to the modeling of earthquake fault systems. Inputs to these models arise from field data, and typically include realistic fault system topologies, realistic long term slip rates, and realistic frictional parameters. Outputs from the simulations include synthetic earthquake sequences and space-time patterns, together with associated surface deformation and strain patterns that are similar to those seen in nature. By analyzing the statistical physics of the simulations, we can show that that the frictional failure physics, which includes a simple representation of a dynamic stress intensity factor, leads to self-organization of the statistical dynamics, and produces empirical statistical distributions (probability density functions: PDFs) that characterize the activity. As a first step for productively using model-based methods for earthquake forecasting, we propose that simulations be used to generate the PDFs for recurrence intervals instead of the usual practice of basing the PDFs on standard forms (Gaussian, Log Normal, Pareto, and so forth). Subsequent development of simulation-based methods should include model enhancement, data assimilation and data mining methods, and analysis techniques based on statistical physics.

Rundle, J. B., Rundle, P. B., Donnellan, A., Klein, W., Turcotte, D. L., & Fox, G. (2005). Variation, Correlation, and Recurrence in Topologically Realistic, System-Level Earthquake Simulations. Presentation at 4th ACES Workshop.