Articles | Volume 15, issue 1
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 15, 209–220, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-15-209-2008

Special issue: Extreme Events: Nonlinear Dynamics and Time Series Analysis

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 15, 209–220, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-15-209-2008

  27 Feb 2008

27 Feb 2008

Transformation of frequency-magnitude relation prior to large events in the model of block structure dynamics

A. Soloviev A. Soloviev
  • International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
  • ESP, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy

Abstract. The b-value change in the frequency-magnitude (FM) distribution for a synthetic earthquake catalogue obtained by means of the model of block structure dynamics has been studied. The catalogue is divided into time periods preceding strong earthquakes and time periods that do not precede strong earthquakes. The separate analysis of these periods shows that the b-value is smaller before strong earthquakes. The similar phenomenon has been found also for the observed seismicity of the Southern California. The model of block structure dynamics represents a seismic region as a system of perfectly rigid blocks divided by infinitely thin plane faults. The blocks interact between themselves and with the underlying medium. The system of blocks moves as a consequence of prescribed motion of the boundary blocks and of the underlying medium. As the blocks are perfectly rigid, all deformation takes place in the fault zones and at the block base in contact with the underlying medium. Relative block displacements take place along the fault zones. Block motion is defined so that the system is in a quasistatic equilibrium state. The interaction of blocks along the fault zones is viscous-elastic ("normal state") while the ratio of the stress to the pressure remains below a certain strength level. When the critical level is exceeded in some part of a fault zone, a stress-drop ("failure") occurs (in accordance with the dry friction model), possibly causing failure in other parts of the fault zones. These failures produce earthquakes. Immediately after the earthquake and for some time after, the affected parts of the fault zones are in a state of creep. This state differs from the normal state because of a faster growth of inelastic displacements, lasting until the stress falls below some other level. This numerical simulation gives rise a synthetic earthquake catalogue.