Spatiotemporal changes of seismicity rate during earthquakes

Chieh Hung Chen, Yang Yi Sun, Strong Wen, Peng Han, Li Ching Lin, Huaizhong Yu, Xuemin Zhang, Yongxin Gao, Chi Chia Tang, Cheng Horng Lin, Jann Yenq Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Scientists demystify stress changes within tens of days before a mainshock and often utilize its foreshocks as an indicator. Typically, foreshocks are detected near fault zones, which may be due to the distribution of seismometers. This study investigates changes in seismicity far from mainshocks by examining tens of thousands of M ≥ 2 quakes that were monitored by dense seismic arrays for more than 10 years in Taiwan and Japan. The quakes occurred within epicentral distances ranging from 0 to 400 km during a period of 60 d before and after the mainshocks that are utilized to exhibit common behaviors of seismicity in the spatiotemporal domain. The superimposition results show that wide areas exhibit increased seismicity associated with mainshocks occurring more than several times to areas of the fault rupture. The seismicity increase initially concentrates in the fault zones and gradually expands outward to over 50 km away from the epicenters approximately 40 d before the mainshocks. The seismicity increases more rapidly around the fault zones approximately 20 d before the mainshocks. The stressed crust triggers ground vibrations at frequencies varying from ∼ 5 × 10-4 to ∼ 10-3 Hz (i.e., variable frequency) along with earthquake-related stress that migrates from exterior areas to approach the fault zones. The variable frequency is determined by the observation of continuous seismic waveforms through the superimposition processes and is further supported by the resonant frequency model. These results suggest that the variable frequency of ground vibrations is a function of areas with increased seismicity leading to earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3333-3341
Number of pages9
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2020


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