Effect of aftershocks on earthquake hazard estimation: An example from the North Anatolian Fault Zone

Oncel A. O., ALPTEKIN O.

NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.19, no.1, pp.1-11, 1999 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 19 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1008139802609
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-11
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


In order to investigate the effect of aftershocks on earthquake hazard estimation, earthquake hazard parameters (lambda(m), b and M-max) have been estimated by the maximum likelihood method from the main shocks catalogue and the raw earthquakes catalogue for the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ). The main shocks catalogue has been compiled from the raw earthquake catalogue by eliminating the aftershocks using the window method. The raw earthquake catalogue consisted of instrumentally detected earthquakes between 1900 and 1992, and historical earthquakes that occurred between 1000-1900. For the events of the mainshock catalogue the Poisson process is valid and for the raw earthquake catalogue it does not fit. The paper demonstrates differences in the hazard outputs if on one hand the main catalogues and on the other hand the raw catalogue is used. The maximum likelihood method which allows the use of the mixed earthquake catalogue containing incomplete (historical) and complete (instrumental) earthquake data is used to determine the earthquake hazard parameters. The maximum regional magnitude (M-max), the seismic activity rate (lambda(m)), the mean return period (R) and the b value of the magnitude-frequency relation have been estimated for the 24 degrees-31 degrees E, 31 degrees-41 degrees E, 41 degrees-45 degrees E sections of the North Anatolian Fault Zone from the raw earthquake catalogue and the main shocks catalogue. Our results indicate that inclusion of aftershocks changes the b value and the seismic activity rate lambda(m) depending on the proportion of aftershocks in a region while it does not significantly effect the value of the maximum regional magnitude since it is related to the maximum observed magnitude. These changes in the earthquake hazard parameters caused the return periods to be over- and underestimated for smaller and larger events, respectively.