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The maximum expected earthquake magnitudes in different future time intervals of six seismotectonic zones of Iran and its surroundings

Abstract

One of the crucial components in seismic hazard analysis is the estimation of the maximum earthquake magnitude and associated uncertainty. In the present study, the uncertainty related to the maximum expected magnitude μ is determined in terms of confidence intervals for an imposed level of confidence. Previous work by Salamat et al. (Pure Appl Geophys 174:763-777, 2017) shows the divergence of the confidence interval of the maximum possible magnitude mmax for high levels of confidence in six seismotectonic zones of Iran. In this work, the maximum expected earthquake magnitude μ is calculated in a predefined finite time interval and imposed level of confidence. For this, we use a conceptual model based on a doubly truncated Gutenberg-Richter law for magnitudes with constant b-value and calculate the posterior distribution of μ for the time interval Tf in future. We assume a stationary Poisson process in time and a Gutenberg-Richter relation for magnitudes. The upper bound of the magnitude confidence interval is calculated for different time intervals of 30, 50, and 100 years and imposed levels of confidence α = 0.5, 0.1, 0.05, and 0.01. The posterior distribution of waiting times Tf to the next earthquake with a given magnitude equal to 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5 are calculated in each zone. In order to find the influence of declustering, we use the original and declustered version of the catalog. The earthquake catalog of the territory of Iran and surroundings are subdivided into six seismotectonic zones Alborz, Azerbaijan, Central Iran, Zagros, Kopet Dagh, and Makran. We assume the maximum possible magnitude mmax = 8.5 and calculate the upper bound of the confidence interval of μ in each zone. The results indicate that for short time intervals equal to 30 and 50 years and imposed levels of confidence 1 − α = 0.95 and 0.90, the probability distribution of μ is around μ = 7.16 − 8.23 in all seismic zones.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the associate editor and two anonymous reviewers for useful comments that helped enhance the manuscript. GZ acknowledges support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 1294). MS and MZ are grateful to the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology of Iran (IIEES).

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Correspondence to Mehdi Zare.

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Salamat, M., Zöller, G., Zare, M. et al. The maximum expected earthquake magnitudes in different future time intervals of six seismotectonic zones of Iran and its surroundings. J Seismol 22, 1485–1498 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10950-018-9780-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10950-018-9780-7

Keywords

  • Maximum expected earthquake magnitude
  • Future time interval
  • Level of confidence
  • Iran