Articles | Volume 15, issue 3
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 15, 379–388, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-15-379-2008
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 15, 379–388, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-15-379-2008

  06 May 2008

06 May 2008

Tsallis and Levy statistics in the preparation of an earthquake

Y. F. Contoyiannis1 and K. Eftaxias2 Y. F. Contoyiannis and K. Eftaxias
  • 1Department of Physics and Chemistry, Techological Education Institute (TEI) of Chalkis, Greece
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Athens, 15771 Athens, Greece

Abstract. Precursory fracture induced electromagnetic (EM) emissions, rooted in opening cracks and ranging from MHz to kHz, with the MHz appearing earlier, are produced and detected both at laboratory and geophysical scale. Recently, we have proposed the following two epochs/stages model of EQ generation: (i) The final kHz part is triggered by the fracture of high strength and large asperities that are distributed along the activated fault and sustain the system. (ii) The initial MHz part is thought to be due to the fracture of highly heterogeneous system that surrounds the family of asperities. Interestingly, the MHz EM time-series can be described in analogy with a thermal second order phase transition. Herein we focus on the MHz pre-seismic activity, and especially on the naturally arising question: what is the physical mechanism that organizes the heterogeneous system in its critical state? Combining ideas of Levy and Tsallis statistics and criticality with features hidden in the precursory MHz time-series we argue that a Levy walk type mechanism can organize the heterogeneous system to criticality. Based on a numerically produced truncated Levy walk, we propose a way to estimate in the stage of critical fluctuations: (i) the associated Levy index-a, which describes quantitatively the underlying Levy dynamics, and (ii) the range of values where the nonextesitive Tsallis index q is restricted. We also show that the kHz EM activity could not be described by a truncated Levy mechanism. This result further indicates an abrupt sweep of the population of asperities that sustain the system.

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