The strong earthquakes that occurred in Italy between 2009 and 2016 represent an abrupt acceleration of seismicity in respect of the previous 30 years. Such behavior seems to agree with the periodic rate change I observed in a previous paper. The present work improves that study by extending the data set up to the end of 2016, adopting the latest version of the historical seismic catalog of Italy, and introducing Schuster spectrum analysis for the detection of the oscillatory period and the assessment of its statistical significance. Applied to the declustered catalog of M w ≥ 6 earthquakes that occurred between 1600 and 2016, the analysis individuates a marked periodicity of 46 years, which is recognized above the 95% confidence level. Monte Carlo simulation shows that the oscillatory behavior is stable in respect of random errors on magnitude estimation. A parametric oscillatory model for the annual rate of seismicity is estimated by likelihood maximization under the hypothesis of inhomogeneous Poisson point process. According to the Akaike Information Criterion, such model outperforms the simpler homogeneous one with constant annual rate. A further element emerges form the analysis: so far, despite recent earthquakes, the Italian seismicity is still within a long-term decreasing trend established since the first half of the twentieth century.
Pure and Applied Geophysics – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 17, 2017
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