Pattern Dynamics and Forecast Methods in Seismically Active Regions
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—Large, extended fault systems such as those in California demonstrate complex space-time seismicity patterns, which include repetitive events, precursory activity and quiescence, and aftershock sequences. Although the characteristics of these patterns can be qualitatively described, a systematic quantitative analysis remains elusive. Our research suggests that a new pattern dynamics methodology can be used to define a unique, finite set of seismicity patterns for a given fault system. In addition, while a long-sought goal of earthquake research has been the reliable forecasting of these events, very little progress has been made in developing a successful, consistent methodology. In this report, we document the discovery of systematic space-time variations in seismicity from southern California using a new technique. Here we present examples of this analysis technique on data obtained prior to events in seismically active areas that show coherent regions associated with the future occurrence of major earthquakes in the same areas. These results strongly support the hypothesis that seismic activity is highly correlated across many space and time scales within large volumes of the earth's crust.
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