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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-315
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-315
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Nov 2018

Research article | 26 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

A Taylor's power law in the Wenchuan earthquake sequence with fluctuation scaling

Peijian Shi1, Mei Li2, Yang Li3, Jie Liu2, Haixia Shi2, Tao Xie2, and Chong Yue2 Peijian Shi et al.
  • 1Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Bamboo Research Institute, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
  • 2China Earthquake Networks Center, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100045, China
  • 3Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN 55812, USA

Abstract. Taylor's power law (TPL) describes the scaling relationship between the temporal or spatial variance and mean of population densities by a simple power law. TPL is widely testified across space and time in biomedical sciences, botany, ecology, economics, epidemiology, and other fields. In this paper, TPL is analytically reconfirmed by testifying the variance as a function of the mean of the released energy of earthquakes with different magnitudes on varying timescales during the Wenchuan earthquake sequence. Estimates of the exponent of TPL are approximately 2, showing that there is mutual attraction among the events in the sequence. On the other hand, the spatial–temporal distribution of the Wenchuan aftershocks tends to be nonrandom but approximately definite and deterministic. Effect of different divisions on estimation of the intercept of TPL straight line has been checked while the exponent is kept to be 2. The result shows that the intercept acts as a logarithm function of the time division. It implies that the mean–variance relationship of the energy release from the earthquakes can be predicted although we cannot accurately predict the occurrence time and locations of imminent events.

Peijian Shi et al.
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Latest update: 13 Dec 2018
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Short summary
A statistical method is tentatively utilized to study distribution properties of aftershocks of the Wenchuan sequence in the sight of energy release. The results show that the events in the Wenchuan sequence are not independent but mutual attraction, their spatio–temporal distribution tends to be nonrandom but definite and deterministic, and imply it is possible that this energy release can be predicted although we cannot accurately predict the occurrence time and locations of imminent events.
A statistical method is tentatively utilized to study distribution properties of aftershocks of...
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