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Earthquake Forerunner as Probable Precursor - An Example from North Burma Subduction Zone
The Burmese Arc seismic activity is not uniform for its ~ 1100 km length; only the Northern Burmese Arc (NBA) is intensely active. Six large earthquakes in the magnitude range 6.1 - 7.4 have originated from the NBA Benioff zone between 1954 -2011, within an area of 200 × 300 km2 where the Indian plate subducts eastward to depths beyond 200 km below the Burma plate. An analysis on seismogenesis of this interplate region suggests that while the subducting lithosphere is characterized by profuse seismicity, seismicity in the overriding plate is rather few. Large earthquakes occurring in the overriding plate are associated with the backarc Shan-Sagaing Fault (SSF) further east. The forecasting performance of the Benioff zone earthquakes in NBA as forerunner is analysed here by: (i) spatial earthquake clustering, (ii) seismic cycles and their temporal quiescence and (iii) the characteristic temporal b-value changes. Three such clusters (C1- C3) are identified from NBA Benioff Zones I&II that are capable of generating earthquakes in the magnitude ranges of 7.38 to 7.93. Seismic cycles evidenced for the Zone I displayed distinct quiescence (Q1, Q2 and Q3) prior to the 6th August 1988 (M 6.6) earthquake. Similar cycles were used to forecast an earthquake (Dasgupta et al. 2010) to come from the Zone I (cluster C1); which, actually struck on 4 February 2011 (M 6.3). The preparatory activity for an event has already been set in the Zone II and we speculate its occurrence as a large event (M > 6.0) possibly within the year 2012, somewhere close to cluster C3. Temporal analysis of b-value indicates a rise before an ensuing large earthquake.
Northern Burmese Arc (NBA), Precursor, Seismic Clusters, Seismic Cycles, Temporal Quiescence, Temporal B-Value.
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