A new mathematical method has been developed to guide the interpretation of sparse epicenter distributions. The aim of the technique is the assessment of the significance of epicenter alignments. This assessment is connected to the detection of seismic faults. The method has been tested on synthetic data sets and on seismicity from the San Francisco Bay area. These tests show high detection capabilities. When the method is applied to actual data, in order to discard artificial lines, the interpreter must check the results using geological information. The method is applied to epicenters in Western Normandy: The main structural directions of Normandy are tracked by sparse epicenters.

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