ABSTRACT

A physics‐based earthquake simulation algorithm for modeling the long‐term spatiotemporal process of strong (M ≥ 6.0) earthquakes in Corinth Gulf area, Greece, is employed and its performance is explored. The underlying physical model includes the rate‐ and state‐dependent frictional formulation, along with the slow tectonic loading and coseismic static stress transfer. The study area constitutes a rapidly extending rift about 100 km long, where the deformation is taken up by eight major fault segments aligned along its southern coastline, and which is associated with several strong (M ≥ 6.0) earthquakes in the last three centuries, since when the historical earthquake catalog is complete. The recurrence time of these earthquakes and their spatial relation are studied, and the simulator results reveal spatiotemporal properties of the regional seismicity such as pseudoperiodicity as well as multisegment ruptures of strong earthquakes. As the simulator algorithm allows the display of the stress pattern on all the single elements of the fault, we are focusing on the time evolution of the stress level before, during, and after these earthquakes occur. In this respect, the spatiotemporal variation of the stress and its heterogeneity appear to be correlated with the process of preparation of strong earthquakes in a quantitative way.

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