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Authors: Marzocchi, W.* 
Selva, J.* 
Cinti, F. R.* 
Montone, P.* 
Pierdominici, S.* 
Schivardi, R.* 
Boschi, E.* 
Title: On the Occurrence of Large Earthquakes: New Insights from a Model based on Interacting Faults Embedded in a Realistic Tectonic Setting
Journal: Journal of Geophysical Research 
Series/Report no.: /114 (2009)
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2009
DOI: 10.1029/2008JB005822
Keywords: Earthquake interactions
Central Italy
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.02. Earthquake interactions and probability 
Abstract: Earthquake occurrence stems from a complex interaction of processes that are still partially unknown. This lack of knowledge is revealed by the different statistical distributions that have been so far proposed and by the different beliefs about the role of some key components as the tectonic setting, fault recurrence, seismic clusters, and fault interaction. Here, we explore these issues through a numerical model based on a realistic interacting fault system. We use an active fault system in central Italy responsible for moderate to large earthquakes, where geometric and kinematic parameters of each structure can be confidently assessed. Then, we generate synthetic catalogs by modeling different seismogenic processes and allowing coseismic and postseismic fault interaction. The comparison of synthetic and real seismic catalogs highlights many interesting features: (1) synthetic seismic catalogs reproduce the short-term clustering and the long-term modulation observed in the historical catalog of the last centuries; (2) a recurrent model of earthquake occurrence on faults is more effective than a Poisson model to explain such short-term and long-term time features; (3) a realistic fault pattern is a key component to generate stochasticity in the seismic catalog, preventing a systematic time ‘‘synchronization’’ of strongly coupled faults; (4) such a stochasticity may put strong limits to the forecasting capability of models based on fault interaction, even though the latter is a key component of the process. Finally, the model allows explicit predictions on future paleoseismological observations to be made.
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