Abstract

A region of intense accelerating seismic crustal deformation has been identified in the southwestern part of the Hellenic arc (broader area of Cythera island). The identification is performed using a detailed parametric grid search of the broader southern Aegean area for accelerating energy release behavior. The identified region has similar properties with past preshock (critical) regions, which have been identified for strong mainshocks in the Aegean area. Based on such observations, which suggest that this region is at a critical state that can lead to a critical point, that is, to the generation of a mainshock, an estimation is made of the possible epicenter coordinates, magnitude, and origin time of this oncoming large (M ∼7.0) earthquake. The estimation procedure is validated on the basis of retrospective analysis of strong events in the Aegean area, as well as by appropriate application on synthetic random catalogs. These results, the existence of similar observations of accelerating seismic deformation in eastern part of southern Aegean and independent information on the time distribution of large earthquakes (M ≥6.8) for the whole southern Aegean indicate that the generation of strong earthquakes in this area in the next few years must be considered as very probable.

You do not currently have access to this article.