Volume 81, Number 6, March 2008
Article Number 69001
Number of page(s) 5
Section Geophysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics
Published online 22 February 2008
EPL, 81 (2008) 69001
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/81/69001

Long-term memory in earthquakes and the distribution of interoccurrence times

S. Lennartz1, V. N. Livina2, A. Bunde1 and S. Havlin3

1  Institut für Theoretische Physik III, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen - 35392 Giessen, Germany
2  School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia - Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
3  Minerva Center and Department of Physics, Bar-Ilan University - Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

received 23 November 2007; accepted in final form 24 January 2008; published March 2008
published online 22 February 2008

We study seismic records in regimes of stationary seismic activity in Northern and Southern California. Our analysis suggests that the earthquakes are long-term power law correlated with a correlation exponent $\gamma $ close to 0.4. We show explicitly that the long-term correlations can explain both the fluctuations of magnitudes and interoccurrence times (between events above a certain magnitude M) and, without any fit parameter, the scaling form of the distribution function of the interoccurrence times in the seismic records, recently obtained by Corral (Phys. Rev. Lett., 92 (2004) 108501).

91.30.Ab - Theory and modeling, computational seismology.
89.75.Da - Systems obeying scaling laws.
95.75.Wx - Time series analysis, time variability.

© EPLA 2008