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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • earthquakes
  • modeling
  • Gutenberg-Richter
  • scaling
  • inhomogeneities
  • damage

Index Terms

  • 7290 Seismology: Computational seismology
  • 7260 Seismology: Theory
  • 7209 Seismology: Earthquake dynamics
  • 7223 Seismology: Earthquake interaction, forecasting, and prediction



Characterizing Large Events and Scaling in Earthquake Models With Inhomogeneous Damage

Rachele Dominguez

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA

Kristy Tiampo

Department of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

C. A. Serino

Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

W. Klein

Department of Physics and Center for Computational Science, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Natural earthquake fault systems are highly nonhomogeneous. The inhomogeneities occur because the Earth is made of a variety of materials that hold and dissipate stress differently. In this work, we study scaling in earthquake fault models that are variations of the Olami-Feder-Christensen and Rundle-Jackson-Brown models. We examine the effect of spatial inhomogeneities due to damage and inhomogeneous stress dissipation on the magnitude-frequency scaling relation and the occurrence of large events. Spatially rearranging dead sites on a given lattice affects the numerical distributions of the effective stress dissipation parameters and the scaling behavior of large avalanche events, depending on the homogeneity of the damage and the length scales associated with the clustered dead sites. We find that the scaling depends not only on the amount of damage but also on the spatial distribution of that damage, such that large events require the existence of interconnected regions with lower stress dissipation. In addition, the largest events are more prevalent if the interaction range is long but shorter than the intrinsic damage length scale.

Citation: Dominguez, R., K. Tiampo, C. A. Serino, and W. Klein (2012), Characterizing large events and scaling in earthquake models with inhomogeneous damage, in Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 196, edited by A. S. Sharma et al. 41–54, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2011GM001082.


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