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Ring-Shaped Seismicity Structures in Southern California: Possible Preparation for Large Earthquake in the Los Angeles Basin

Abstract

Some characteristics of seismicity in Southern California are studied. It is found that ring-shaped seismicity structures with threshold magnitudes Mth of 4.1, 4.1, and 3.8 formed prior to three large (M w > 7.0) earthquakes in 1992, 1999, and 2010, respectively. The sizes of these structures are several times smaller than for intracontinental strike-slip events with similar magnitudes. Two ring-shaped structures are identified in areas east of the city of Los Angeles, where relatively large earthquakes have not occurred for at least 150 years. The magnitudes of large events which can occur in the areas of these structures are estimated on the basis of the previously obtained correlation dependence of ring sizes on magnitudes of the strike-slip earthquakes. Large events with magnitudes of M w = 6.9 ± 0.2 and M w = 8.6 ± 0.2 can occur in the area to the east of the city of Los Angeles and in the rupture zone of the 1857 great Fort Tejon earthquake, respectively. We believe that ring-structure formation, similarly to the other regions, is connected with deep-seated fluid migration.

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Correspondence to Yu. F. Kopnichev.

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Original Russian Text © Yu.F. Kopnichev, I.N. Sokolova, 2017, published in Geofizicheskie Protsessy i Biosfera, 2017, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 42–54.

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Kopnichev, Y.F., Sokolova, I.N. Ring-Shaped Seismicity Structures in Southern California: Possible Preparation for Large Earthquake in the Los Angeles Basin. Izv. Atmos. Ocean. Phys. 53, 781–790 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0001433817080072

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1134/S0001433817080072

Keywords

  • Earth’s crust
  • ring-shaped seismicity structures
  • large earthquakes
  • deep-seated fluids