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Recurrence time distributions of large earthquakes in eastern Iran

A. Khodaverdian, H. Zafarani, K. W. Schultz and M. Rahimian
Recurrence time distributions of large earthquakes in eastern Iran
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (October 2016) 106 (6): 2624-2639


The eastern part of the Iranian plateau is characterized by large and infrequent earthquakes with recurrence intervals of more than several hundred years. Given that previous observations and paleoseismological studies are insufficient for forecasting large earthquakes, we have developed a physics-based synthetic seismicity model for the fault system in eastern Iran using the Virtual Quake simulator. The model is independent of the seismic catalogs, however, it is tuned to match available earthquakes records. We show that the modeled seismicity rates and empirical frequency-magnitude distributions are consistent within the uncertainty of the empirical relations. Furthermore, our synthetic catalog agrees with previous paleoseismological investigations. From the resulting catalog, we can obtain the statistical distributions of recurrence times and waiting times for large earthquakes in the region as a whole and for the individual faults. In agreement with previous earthquake simulator studies, we find that the Poisson (time-independent) distribution best describes the recurrence times of large earthquakes in the region as a whole. Large earthquakes on the individual faults show quasi-periodic behavior, and for most faults can be well represented by the Weibull distribution. We present the corresponding time-dependent conditional probabilities for large earthquakes throughout the region and for a few selected individual faults. Long-term simulations indicate that waiting times for large earthquakes on specific faults are strongly dependent on the fault system configuration. Faults confined by other active faults, or consisting of several segments, host large earthquakes with more distributed recurrence times. Moreover, the obtained long-term synthetic seismic catalog shows that fault interactions clearly have a major effect on occurrence of large earthquakes, and hence should be taken into account for seismic-hazard assessment.

ISSN: 0037-1106
EISSN: 1943-3573
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Serial Volume: 106
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Recurrence time distributions of large earthquakes in eastern Iran
Affiliation: University of Tehran, School of Civil Engineering, Tehran, Iran
Pages: 2624-2639
Published: 20161005
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, Berkeley, CA, United States
References: 81
Accession Number: 2016-092862
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables, sketch map
N28°00'00" - N32°00'00", E58°00'00" - E62°00'00"
N28°00'00" - N32°00'00", E54°00'00" - E58°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, IRN, IranUniversity of California at Davis, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201645
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