No significant effect of Coulomb stress on the Gutenberg-Richter law after the landers earthquake
Coulomb-stress theory has been used for years in seismology to understand how earthquakes trigger each other. Whenever an earthquake occurs, the stress field changes, and places with positive increases are brought closer to failure. Earthquake models that relate earthquake rates and Coulomb stress after a main event, such as the rate-and-state model, assume that the magnitude distribution of earthquakes is not affected by the change in the Coulomb stress. By using different slip models, we calculate the change in Coulomb stress in the fault plane for every aftershock after the Landers event (California, USA, 1992, moment magnitude 7.3). Applying several statistical analyses to test whether the distribution of magnitudes is sensitive to the sign of the Coulomb-stress increase, we are not able to find any significant effect. Further, whereas the events with a positive increase of the stress are characterized by a much larger proportion of strike-slip events in comparison with the seismicity previous to the mainshock, the events happening despite a decrease in Coulomb stress show no relevant differences in focal-mechanism distribution with respect to previous seismicity.
V. Navas-Portella, A. Jiménez, Á. Corral, No significant effect of Coulomb stress on the Gutenberg-Richter law after the landers earthquake, Scientific Reports 10 (2020) 2901