Large Earthquake Hazard of the San Jacinto Fault Zone, CA, from Long Record of Simulated Seismicity Assimilating the Available Instrumental and Paleoseismic Data
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We investigate spatio-temporal properties of earthquake patterns in the San Jacinto fault zone (SJFZ), California, between Cajon Pass and the Superstition Hill Fault, using a long record of simulated seismicity constrained by available seismological and geological data. The model provides an effective realization of a large segmented strike-slip fault zone in a 3D elastic half-space, with heterogeneous distribution of static friction chosen to represent several clear step-overs at the surface. The simulated synthetic catalog reproduces well the basic statistical features of the instrumental seismicity recorded at the SJFZ area since 1981. The model also produces events larger than those included in the short instrumental record, consistent with paleo-earthquakes documented at sites along the SJFZ for the last 1,400 years. The general agreement between the synthetic and observed data allows us to address with the long-simulated seismicity questions related to large earthquakes and expected seismic hazard. The interaction between m ≥ 7 events on different sections of the SJFZ is found to be close to random. The hazard associated with m ≥ 7 events on the SJFZ increases significantly if the long record of simulated seismicity is taken into account. The model simulations indicate that the recent increased number of observed intermediate SJFZ earthquakes is a robust statistical feature heralding the occurrence of m ≥ 7 earthquakes. The hypocenters of the m ≥ 5 events in the simulation results move progressively towards the hypocenter of the upcoming m ≥ 7 earthquake.
KeywordsEarthquake dynamics Earthquake interaction, forecasting, and prediction Statistical seismology Seismicity and tectonics
The manuscript benefitted from the constructive comments of two anonymous reviewers. Figure 1a has been produced with the GMT software of Wessel and Smith (1991). GZ acknowledges support from the Potsdam Research Cluster for Georisk Analysis, Environmental Change and Sustainability (PROGRESS). YBZ acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (grant EAR-0908903).
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