The magnitude distribution of earthquakes near Southern California faults


We investigate seismicity near faults in the Southern California Earthquake Center Community Fault Model. We search for anomalously large events that might be signs of a characteristic earthquake distribution. We find that seismicity near major fault zones in Southern California is well modeled by a Gutenberg-Richter distribution, with no evidence of characteristic earthquakes within the resolution limits of the modern instrumental catalog. However, the b value of the locally observed magnitude distribution is found to depend on distance to the nearest mapped fault segment, which suggests that earthquakes nucleating near major faults are likely to have larger magnitudes relative to earthquakes nucleating far from major faults

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