pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 117, Issue 6, pp 1172–1186 | Cite as

Two kinds of seismic gaps

  • Kiyoo Mogi


The same term ‘seismic gaps’ has been used for different kinds of seismic gaps, resulting in some confusion. It is shown that there are two kinds of seismic gaps which are defined by two different features of seismic activity. One is a gap in the spatial distribution of rupture zones of the largest earthquakes in a seismic belt. This is termed a seismic gap of the first kind. A seismic gap of the first kind could be identified not only for great shallow earthquakes along plate boundaries, but also probably for smaller intra-plate earthquakes. The other is a gap in seismicity of smaller-magnitude earthquakes before larger earthquakes. This premonitory phenomenon is termed a seismic gap of the second kind. Focal regions of the largest earthquakes in an active seismic belt are frequently seismic gaps of both the first and the second kind. Some earthquakes, however, are not preceded by any appreciable premonitory gap (the second kind). This different feature in different cases may depend on the structural states of the earth's crust, such as heterogeneity.

Key words

Earthquake prediction Seismic gaps Tectonics of Japan 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiyoo Mogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Earthquake Research InstituteUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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