Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

pp 1-33

Date: Latest Version

Earthquake Location, Direct, Global-Search Methods

  • Anthony LomaxAffiliated withALomax Scientific Email author 
  • , Alberto MicheliniAffiliated withIstituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia
  • , Andrew CurtisAffiliated withECOSSE (Edinburgh Collaborative of Subsurface Science and Engineering), Grant Institute of GeoSciences, The University of Edinburgh


Earthquake location hypocenter epicenter seismicity early warning experimental design inverse problem global search probabilistic

Definition of the Subject

An earthquake location specifies the place and time of occurrence of energy release from a seismic event. A location together with a measure of size forms a concise description of the most important characteristics of an earthquake. The location may refer to the earthquake’s epicenter, hypocenter, or centroid or to another observed or calculated property of the earthquake that can be spatially and temporally localized. A location is called absolute if it is determined or specified within a fixed, geographic coordinate system and a fixed time base (e.g., Coordinated Universal Time, UTC); a location is called relative if it is determined or specified with respect to another spatiotemporal object (e.g., an earthquake or explosion) which may have unknown or uncertain absolute location.

For rapid hazard assessment and emergency response, an earthquake location provides information such as the locality of potential damage or the source region of a possible tsunami, an ...

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