Delayed dynamic triggering of earthquakes: Evidence from a statistical model of seismicity
Centro Atómico Bariloche and Instituto Balseiro - 8400 Bariloche, Argentina
Accepted: 15 December 2010
I study a recently proposed statistical model of earthquake dynamics that incorporates aging as a fundamental ingredient. The model is known to generate earthquake sequences that quantitatively reproduce the spatial and temporal clustering of events observed in actual seismic patterns. The aim of the present work is to investigate if this model can give support to the empirical evidence that earthquakes can be triggered by transient small perturbations, particularly by the passing of seismic waves originated in events occurring in far geographical locations. The effect of seismic waves is incorporated into the model by assuming that they produce instantaneous small modifications in the dynamical state of the system at the time they are applied. This change in the dynamical state has two main effects. On one side, it induces immediate earthquakes that occur right at the application of the perturbation. In addition, there is a delayed effect: the seismic activity increases abruptly after the perturbation, then falls down below the level of background activity, and eventually recovers to the background value. The time scale of these variations depends on the internal dynamics of the system, and is totally independent of the duration of the perturbation. The origin of the enhanced activity period following the perturbation is associated to the existence of aging relaxation, and it does not occur if relaxation is absent. These findings give support to the experimental evidence that earthquakes can be remotely triggered by small transient perturbations as those produced by seismic waves.
PACS: 91.30.Px – Earthquakes / 91.30.Ab – Theory and modeling, computational seismology / 05.65.+b – Self-organized systems
© EPLA, 2011