A new statistical approach is proposed for the definition of the time interval characterized by a seismicity data set representative of the actual seismicity (completeness). The proposed approach does not require stringent assumptions about statistical features of local seismicity, nor does it require preprocessing procedures (e.g., aftershock removal), a potential source of statistical biases. In order to validate this procedure, the Italian seismic catalog NT4.1 has been studied, which is probably the one with the best historical background in the world, and for which it is possible to make hypotheses about data set completeness in the light of historiographical considerations. The results obtained indicate that the proposed statistical procedure is effective for a first order completeness estimate of parametric seismic catalogs.

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