Abstract

The earthquakes associated with continental deformation are spatially and temporally variable and are fundamental in understanding fault activity and seismogenic hazards. We conduct K‐means cluster analysis on seismicity in the African–Arabian rift systems to create the first computationally objective analysis of the pattern of earthquakes. We use seismic moment to compute spatial variations in maximum credible earthquake (Mcred) and likely time to the next major release of seismic energy. Our best‐fit model has 32 clusters of 100400  km in length, with cluster size decreasing northward along the rift and cluster boundaries correlating with major structural segmentation of the rift. Mcred varies between Mw 5.2 and 7.4 across the whole dataset, with the highest values estimated in portions of the rift where the majority of extension is accommodated by seismogenic failure.

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