Relaxation creep model of impending earthquake

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V. A. Morgounov


The alternative view of the current status and perspective of seismic prediction studies is discussed. In the problem of ascertainment of the uncertainty relation Cognoscibility-Unpredictability of Earthquakes, priorities of works on short-term earthquake prediction are defined due to the advantage that the final stage of nucleation of earthquake is characterized by a substantial activation of the process while its strain rate increases by the orders of magnitude and considerably increased signal-to-noise ratio. Based on the creep phenomenon under stress relaxation conditions, a model is proposed to explain different images of precursors of impending tectonic earthquakes. The onset of tertiary creep appears to correspond to the onset of instability and inevitably fails unless it is unloaded. At this stage, the process acquires the self-regulating character and to the greatest extent the property of irreversibility, one of the important components of prediction reliability. Data in situ suggest a principal possibility to diagnose the process of preparation by ground measurements of strain-rate-dependent parameters, like electromagnetic emission, etc. Laboratory tests of the measurements of acoustic and electromagnetic emission in the rocks under constant strain in the condition of self-relaxed stress until the moment of fracture are discussed in context. It was obtained that electromagnetic emission precedes but does not accompany the phase of macrocrack development.

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How to Cite
Morgounov, V. A. (2001) “Relaxation creep model of impending earthquake”, Annals of Geophysics, 44(2). doi: 10.4401/ag-3603.