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Assessing potential seismic activity in Vrancea, Romania, using a stress-release model

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Abstract

Over the last 500 years, an average of five intermediate-depth earthquakes of Mw = 7 and larger have occurred during each 100-year period in Vrancea, Central Romania. We have therefore attempted to assess the long-term seismic hazards in Vrancea using a stress-release (SR) model which models the elastic rebound theory in a stochastic process. The hypocenter catalog, ROMPLUS, provided by the National Institute for Earth Physics (NIEP), was adopted for the study. We only used data on earthquakes located in Vrancea and applied the SR-model to data sets of earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 and larger for three different time periods. Renewal models, such as the Brownian and Weibull model, were also applied to the same data set, but these did not perform as well as the SR-model. The SR-model can assess future earthquake probability and has identified that the probability of an earthquake occurring in Vrancea in a 5-year period exceeds 40% by the end of this decade.

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Correspondence to Masajiro Imoto.

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Key words

  • Long-term probability
  • hazard
  • stress release model
  • Vrancea
  • Romania