Sandpile-based model for capturing magnitude distributions and spatiotemporal clustering and separation in regional earthquakes
- 1National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
- 2St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, 2 Third Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA
Abstract. We propose a cellular automata model for earthquake occurrences patterned after the sandpile model of self-organized criticality (SOC). By incorporating a single parameter describing the probability to target the most susceptible site, the model successfully reproduces the statistical signatures of seismicity. The energy distributions closely follow power-law probability density functions (PDFs) with a scaling exponent of around −1. 6, consistent with the expectations of the Gutenberg–Richter (GR) law, for a wide range of the targeted triggering probability values. Additionally, for targeted triggering probabilities within the range 0.004–0.007, we observe spatiotemporal distributions that show bimodal behavior, which is not observed previously for the original sandpile. For this critical range of values for the probability, model statistics show remarkable comparison with long-period empirical data from earthquakes from different seismogenic regions. The proposed model has key advantages, the foremost of which is the fact that it simultaneously captures the energy, space, and time statistics of earthquakes by just introducing a single parameter, while introducing minimal parameters in the simple rules of the sandpile. We believe that the critical targeting probability parameterizes the memory that is inherently present in earthquake-generating regions.