Multifractality of Pseudo-Velocities and Seismic Quiescence Associated with the Tehuantepec M8.2 EQ

Entropy (Basel). 2018 Dec 13;20(12):961. doi: 10.3390/e20120961.


By using earthquake catalogs, previous studies have reported evidence that some changes in the spatial and temporal organization of earthquake activity are observed before and after of a main shock. These previous studies have used different approaches for detecting clustering behavior and distance-events density in order to point out the asymmetric behavior of foreshocks and aftershocks. Here, we present a statistical analysis of the seismic activity related to the M w = 8.2 earthquake that occurred on 7 September 2017 in Mexico. First, we calculated the inter-event time and distance between successive events for the period 1 January 1998 until 20 October 2017 in a circular region centered at the epicenter of the M w = 8.2 EQ. Next, we introduced the concept of pseudo-velocity as the ratio between the inter-event distance and inter-event time. A sliding window is considered to estimate some statistical features of the pseudo-velocity sequence before the main shock. Specifically, we applied the multifractal method to detect changes in the spectrum of singularities for the period before the main event on 7 September. Our results point out that the multifractality associated with the pseudo-velocities exhibits noticeable changes in the characteristics of the spectra (more narrower) for approximately three years, from 2013 until 2016, which is preceded and followed by periods with wider spectra. On the other hand, we present an analysis of patterns of seismic quiescence before the M w = 8.2 earthquake based on the Schreider algorithm over a period of 27 years. We report the existence of an important period of seismic quietude, for six to seven years, from 2008 to 2015 approximately, known as the alpha stage, and a beta stage of resumption of seismic activity, with a duration of approximately three years until the occurrence of the great earthquake of magnitude M w = 8.2 . Our results are in general concordance with previous results reported for statistics based on magnitude temporal sequences.

Keywords: Schreider algorithm; earthquake precursors; multifractality; quiescence analysis.