Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 6, Issue 12, pp 4993–5006 | Cite as

Probabilities of earthquake occurrences in Mainland Southeast Asia

  • Santi Pailoplee
  • Montri Choowong
Original Paper


The frequency–magnitude distributions of earthquakes are used in this study to estimate the earthquake hazard parameters for individual earthquake source zones within the Mainland Southeast Asia. For this purpose, 13 earthquake source zones are newly defined based on the most recent geological, tectonic, and seismicity data. A homogeneous and complete seismicity database covering the period from 1964 to 2010 is prepared for this region and then used for the estimation of the constants, a and b, of the frequency–magnitude distributions. These constants are then applied to evaluate the most probable largest magnitude, the mean return period, and the probability of earthquake of different magnitudes in different time spans. The results clearly show that zones A, B, and E have the high probability for the earthquake occurrence comparing with the other seismic zones. All seismic source zones have 100 % probability that the earthquake with magnitude ≤6.0 generates in the next 25 years. For the Sagaing Fault Zone (zones C), the next Mw 7.2–7.5 earthquake may generate in this zone within the next two decades and should be aware of the prospective Mw 8.0 earthquake. Meanwhile, in Sumatra-Andaman Interplate (zone A), an earthquake with a magnitude of Mw 9.0 can possibly occur in every 50 years. Since an earthquake of magnitude Mw 9.0 was recorded in this region in 2004, there is a possibility of another Mw 9.0 earthquake within the next 50 years.


Earthquake probability Earthquake catalogue Frequency–magnitude distribution Return periods Mainland Southeast Asia 



This work was jointly sponsored by Integrated Innovation Academic Center: IIAC Chulalongkorn University Centenary Academic Development Project (CU56-CC04), the Higher Education Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission (CC508B). Thanks also extend to T. Pailoplee for the preparation of the draft manuscript. We thank the Publication Counseling Unit (PCU), the faculty of science, Chulalongkorn University for a critical review and improved the English. We acknowledged thoughtful comments and suggestions by the Editor-In-Chief and anonymous reviewers which enhanced the quality of this manuscript significantly.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earthquake and Tectonic Geology Research Unit (EATGRU), Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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