Phenomena preceding major earthquakes interconnected through a physical model

Varotsos, Panayiotis A.; Sarlis, Nicholas V.; Skordas, Efthimios S.

The analysis of earthquake time series in a new time domain termed natural time enables the uncovering of hidden properties in time series of complex systems and has been recently employed as the basis of a method to estimate seismic risk. Natural time also enables the determination of the order parameter of seismicity, which is a quantity by means of which one can identify when the system approaches the critical point (the mainshock occurrence is considered the new phase). Applying this analysis, as an example, to the Japanese seismic data from 1 January 1984 until the super-giant M 9 Tōhoku earthquake on 11 March 2011, we find that almost 3 months before its occurrence the entropy change of seismicity under time reversal is minimized on 22 December 2010, which signals an impending major earthquake. On this date the order parameter fluctuations of seismicity exhibit an abrupt increase. This increase is accompanied by various phenomena; e.g., from this date the horizontal GPS azimuths start to become gradually oriented toward the southern direction, while they had random orientation during the preceding period. Two weeks later, a minimum of the order parameter fluctuations of seismicity appears accompanied by anomalous Earth magnetic field variations and by full alignment of the orientations of GPS azimuths southwards leading to the most intense crust uplift. These phenomena are discussed and found to be in accordance with a physical model which seems to explain on a unified basis anomalous precursory changes observed either in ground-based measurements or in satellite data.

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Varotsos, Panayiotis A. / Sarlis, Nicholas V. / Skordas, Efthimios S.: Phenomena preceding major earthquakes interconnected through a physical model. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Panayiotis A. Varotsos et al.

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