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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 1, issue 1/2
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 1, 93–98, 2001
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-1-93-2001
© Author(s) 2001. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Double Issue: Seismic hazard evaluation - Part I

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 1, 93–98, 2001
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-1-93-2001
© Author(s) 2001. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  30 Jun 2001

30 Jun 2001

Detecting premonitory seismicity patterns based on critical point dynamics

G. Zöller1 and S. Hainzl2,1 G. Zöller and S. Hainzl
  • 1Institute of Physics, University of Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. We test the hypothesis that critical point dynamics precedes strong earthquakes in a region surrounding the future hypocenter. Therefore, we search systematically for regions obeying critical point dynamics in terms of a growing spatial correlation length (GCL). The question of whether or not these spatial patterns are correlated with future seismicity is crucial for the problem of predictability. The analysis is conducted for earthquakes with M > 6.5 in California. As a result, we observe that GCL patterns are correlated with the distribution of future seismicity. In particular, there are clear correlations in some cases, e.g. the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1999 Hector Mine earthquake. We claim that the critical point concept can improve the seismic hazard assessment.

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