Seismologists have long struggled with how to display their data effectively, since earthquakes, like other geological processes, occur in three spatial dimensions and time. Seismicity has additional dimensions: there is the obvious variable of earthquake size, which itself becomes multidimensional once we extend this to the tensor-valued quantity (the moment tensor) that is the simplest description of the earthquake source. Given the human ability to see patterns, visualization is a powerful tool for investigating earthquake behavior; although it can be perilous if the patterns seen are not statistically checked, it is better to have seen and abandoned a pattern than...

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