Abstract

Instrumental and historical information on strong mainshocks for 12 seismogenic sources in Central America and Caribbean Sea has been used to show that the interevent time, Tt (in years), between two strong earthquakes and the magnitude, Mf of the following mainshock are given by the relations

 
logTt=0.30Mmin+0.48Mp0.69logm0+13.70,Mf=0.98Mmin0.31Mp+0.28logm04.55,

where Mmin is the surface-wave magnitude of the smallest mainshock considered, Mp the magnitude of the preceding mainshock, and m0 the moment rate per year in each source. On the basis of these relations, the probability of the occurrence of a mainshock during the decade 1993 to 2002 as well as the magnitude of this expected mainshock in each seismogenic source has been calculated. The highest probability (P10 = 0.67) was estimated for the seismogenic source of El Salvador (A1) for the occurrence of a large earthquake with expected magnitude Mf = 7.5, and high probabilities (P10 ≧ 0.55) were estimated for the seismogenic sources of Jamaica (C3) and Puerto Rico (C5) for earthquakes with expected magnitudes Mf = 7.5 in both sources.

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