Evidence for tidal triggering for the earthquakes of the Ionian geological zone, Greece

Michael E. Contadakis, Dimitrios N. Arabelos, Spyrous D. Spatalas


We here investigate the evidence for tidal triggering of the earthquakes of the seismic area of the Ionian geological zone in Greece, using the cumulative histogram method that was introduced recently by Cadicheanu et al. (Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 2007, 7, 733-740). We analyzed the series of earthquakes that occurred in the area bounded by 19°E # { # 22°E and 36°N # m # 40°N from 1964 to 2006. Over this time, there were 19.916 shallow and intermediate depth earthquakes with magnitudes ranging between 2.5 and 6.2. The great majority of these earthquakes, including those with M ≥ 5.0, were shallow. The results of our analysis indicate that the monthly variations in the frequencies of the earthquake occurrence are in agreement with the period of the tidal lunar monthly variations. The same is true for the corresponding daily variations of the frequencies of earthquake occurrence and the diurnal lunisolar (K1) and semidiurnal lunar (M2) tidal variations. In addition, the confidence levels for the identification of such periodical agreement between the frequency of earthquake occurrence and the tidal periods varies according to the seismic activity; i.e. the higher confidence levels correspond to the periods with stronger seismic activity. These results are in favor of a tidal triggering process of earthquakes when the stress in the focal area is near the critical level.



Lunisolar Tides, Seismicity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-5314
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X