Earthquake Hazard After a Mainshock in California

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Science  03 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4895, pp. 1173-1176
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4895.1173


After a strong earthquake, the possibility of the occurrence of either significant aftershocks or an even stronger mainshock is a continuing hazard that threatens the resumption of critical services and reoccupation of essential but partially damaged structures. A stochastic parametric model allows determination of probabilities for aftershocks and larger mainshocks during intervals following the mainshock. The probabilities depend strongly on the model parameters, which are estimated with Bayesian statistics from both the ongoing aftershock sequence and from a suite of historic California aftershock sequences. Probabilities for damaging aftershocks and greater mainshocks are typically well-constrained after the first day of the sequence, with accuracy increasing with time.

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