Bayesian Parameter Estimation for Space and Time Interacting Earthquake Rupture Model Using Historical and Physics-Based Simulated Earthquake Catalogs

Luis Ceferino, Percy Galvez, Jean-Paul Ampuero, Anne Kiremidjian, Gregory Deierlein, Juan C. Villegas-Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT This article introduces a framework to supplement short historical catalogs with synthetic catalogs and determine large earthquakes’ recurrence. For this assessment, we developed a parameter estimation technique for a probabilistic earthquake occurrence model that captures time and space interactions between large mainshocks. The technique is based on a two-step Bayesian update that uses a synthetic catalog from physics-based simulations for initial parameter estimation and then the historical catalog for further calibration, fully characterizing parameter uncertainty. The article also provides a formulation to combine multiple synthetic catalogs according to their likelihood of representing empirical earthquake stress drops and Global Positioning System-inferred interseismic coupling. We applied this technique to analyze large-magnitude earthquakes’ recurrence along 650 km of the subduction fault’s interface located offshore Lima, Peru. We built nine 2000 yr long synthetic catalogs using quasi-dynamic earthquake cycle simulations based on the rate-and-state friction law to supplement the 450 yr long historical catalog. When the synthetic catalogs are combined with the historical catalog without propagating their uncertainty, we found average relative reductions larger than 90% in the recurrence parameters’ uncertainty. When we propagated the physics-based simulations’ uncertainty to the posterior, the reductions in uncertainty decreased to 60%–70%. In two Bayesian assessments, we then show that using synthetic catalogs results in higher parameter uncertainty reductions than using only the historical catalog (69% vs. 60% and 83% vs. 80%), demonstrating that synthetic catalogs can be effectively combined with historical data, especially in tectonic regions with short historical catalogs. Finally, we show the implications of these results for time-dependent seismic hazard.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
StatePublished - Jun 29 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-07-01
Acknowledgements: The authors thank the Stanford Research Computing Center for providing computational resources. The authors acknowledge Heresi
from Stanford University for insightful discussions on the uncertainty of historical catalogs. The authors acknowledge the support by the
Shah Family Fellowship, the John A. Blume Fellowship from the Civil Engineering Department at Stanford University, and the
Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Andlinger Center at Princeton University. The authors acknowledge the support by the French
National Research Agency (ANR) with reference number ANR-15-IDEX-01 through the Université Côte d’Azur's Joint, Excellent and
Dynamic Initiative. The authors also appreciate the constructive comments and suggestions of the BSSA reviewers of the article.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


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