Four days after the 12 May 2008 M 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake struck the Sichuan region of China, we submitted a prospective earthquake forecast based on transfer of stress from the mainshock onto significant faults crossing through populated areas. We identified where the largest aftershocks were likely to occur that could cause loss of life. We returned the revised article to the journal on 5 June 2008, marking the last day of our observation period. The primary testable features are locations and focal mechanisms of larger (M ≥ 4.5) earthquakes; did these events happen on or very near the faults we said they would? Did they have the same strikes, dips, and rakes as the faults we modeled? In retrospect, is the stress transfer method consistent with all M ≥ 4.5 earthquakes that occurred? We find all but one M ≥ 4.5 aftershock with known focal mechanisms located on stress‐increased faults, and their focal mechanism parameters overlap with geological characteristics we used in making calculations. Six of the seven lethal M > 4.5 earthquakes that occurred in the region since 5 June 2008 were located on stress‐increased faults, with the lone exception triggered by hydraulic fracturing.
|Title||Evaluating a prospective fault-based stress-transfer forecast for the M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake region 15 years later|
|Authors||Thomas E. Parsons, Chen Ji, Eric Kirby|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||The Seismic Record|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center|