Variations in hazard during earthquake sequences between 1995 and 2018 in western Greece as evaluated by a Bayesian ETAS model

Azarbakht, Alireza and Ebrahimian, Hossein and Jalayer, Fatemeh and Douglas, John (2022) Variations in hazard during earthquake sequences between 1995 and 2018 in western Greece as evaluated by a Bayesian ETAS model. Geophysical Journal International, 231 (1). pp. 27-46. ISSN 0956-540X (

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Forecasting the spatio-temporal occurrence of events is at the core of Operational Earthquake Forecasting, which is of great interest for risk management, particularly during ongoing seismic sequences. Epidemic type aftershock sequence (ETAS) models are powerful tools to estimate the occurrence of events during earthquake sequences. In this context, a robust seismicity forecasting framework based on Bayesian-inference has been adapted to the Patras and Aegio region in western Greece (one of the most seismically active parts of Mediterranean), and an incremental adaptive algorithm is introduced to train the priors for ETAS model parameters. The seismicity forecasting is capable of accounting for uncertainty in the model parameters as well as variations in the sequence of events that may happen during the forecasting interval. Six seismic sequences between 1995 and 2018 were selected with main shock moment magnitudes Mw ≥ 6.0. The ETAS model was adapted for each seismic sequence. The number of forecasted events with Mw ≥ 4.5 and their spatial distribution was retrospectively compared with the as-recorded earthquake catalogue, confirming a good agreement between the forecasts and observations. The results show that the adapted model can be used immediately after a severe main shock to statistically predict potentially damaging earthquakes during the ongoing seismic sequence. The seismicity forecasts were translated to short-term daily exceedance rates for different thresholds of peak ground acceleration. The results reveal that the seismic hazard increased by up to 33 times in the case of the damaging 1995 Mw 6.5 earthquake in the city of Aegio. However, the results confirmed that in all six studied sequences, the increased seismic hazard decayed rapidly during the 2 d after the main shock, and remained relatively high in the following days (roughly ten times the long-term time-independent hazard).


Azarbakht, Alireza ORCID logoORCID:, Ebrahimian, Hossein, Jalayer, Fatemeh and Douglas, John ORCID logoORCID:;