How to Identify Foreshocks in Seismic Sequences to Predict Strong Earthquakes

Download Download as PDF (Size:635KB)  HTML   XML  PP. 55-71  
DOI: 10.4236/ojer.2017.61003    821 Downloads   3,446 Views  


The time analysis of seismic events preceding several strong earthquakes occurred in recent decades throughout the world, has highlighted some foreshocks’ characteristics, which are helpful for their discrimination compared to other types of events. These features can be identified within the seismic sequence and used as strong events’ precursors. Through the energy release pattern analysis, which precedes any strong earthquakes, in this study we describe some graphical procedures suitable for distinguishing a foreshock from any other type of earthquake. We have broadly divided foreshocks into two classes, depending on their position within the energy release pattern, by describing some relationships between the foreshock’s magnitude and the following earthquake’s. The results obtained show how the energy release pattern of some major earthquakes has distinctive features and repeatability which it is possible to obtain information from in order to perform sufficiently reliable short-term forecasts.

Cite this paper

Riga, G. and Balocchi, P. (2017) How to Identify Foreshocks in Seismic Sequences to Predict Strong Earthquakes. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 6, 55-71. doi: 10.4236/ojer.2017.61003.


[1] Riga, G. and Balocchi, P. (2016) Seismic Sequence Structure and Earthquakes Triggering Patterns. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 5, 20-34.
[2] Papadopoulos, G.A., Charalampakis, M., Fokaefs, A. and Minadakis, G. (2010) Strong Foreshock Signal Preceding the L’Aquila (Italy) Earthquake (Mw 6.3) of 6 April 2009. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 10, 19-24.
[3] McGuire, J.J., Boettcher, M.S. and Jordan, T.H. (2005) Foreshock Sequences and Short-Term Earthquake Predictability on East Pacific Rise Transform Faults. Nature, 3377, 1-5.
[4] Riga, G. and Balocchi, P. (2016) Short-Term Earthquake Forecast with the Seismic Sequence Hierarchization Method. Open Journal of Earthquake Research, 5, 79-96.
[5] Dodge, D.A., Beroza, G.C. and Ellsworth, W.L. (1996) Detailed Observations of California Foreshock Sequences: Implications for the Earthquake Initiation Process. Journal of Geophysical Research, 101, 22371-22392.
[6] Chen, X. and Shearer, P.M. (2013) California Foreshock Sequences Suggest Aseismic Triggering Process. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 2602-2607.
[7] Das, S. and Scholz, C. (1981) Theory of Time-Dependent Rupture in the Earth. Journal of Geophysical Research, 86, 6039-6051.
[8] Ishibashi, K. (1988) Two Categories of Earthquake Precursors, Physical and Tectonic, and Their Roles in Intermediate-Term Earthquake Prediction. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 126, 687-700.
[9] Jiao, M., Tang, C., Zhang, G., Shi, Y. and Hou, W. (2003) A Numerical Test on Influence of Mesoscopic Heterogeneity on Macroscopic Behavior of Rock Failure and Seismic Sequance Types. Chinese Journal of Geophysics, 46, 943-953.
[10] Chen, Y.T. and Knopoff, L. (1987) Simulation of Earthquake Sequances. Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 91, 693-709.
[11] Christophersen, A. and Smith, E.G.C. (2008) Foreshock Rates from Aftershock Abundance. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 96, 2133-2148.
[12] Felzer, K.R. (2004) A Common Origin for Aftershocks, Foreshocks, and Multiplets. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 96, 88-98.
[13] Reasenberg, P.A. (1999) Foreshock Occurrence Rates before Large Earthquakes Worldwide. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 96, 355-379.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2017 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.