Homogenized earthquake catalog and b-value mapping for Ethiopia and its adjoining regions

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Abstract

The Ethiopian rift which is part of East African Rift system passes through the middle of the country making it one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Thus, significant and damaging earthquakes have been reported and recorded in the past in this region. A homogeneous earthquake catalog is of basic importance for studying the earthquake occurrence pattern in space and time and for many engineering applications including assessment of seismic hazard, estimation of peak ground accelerations and determination of long-term seismic strain rates. The first earthquake catalogue for Ethiopia was prepared by Pierre Gouin and later, different authors attempted to compile a catalogue using different time period intervals and different earthquake magnitude scales. The b-value mapping and its implication never done for Ethiopia and its environs. The main purpose of the study is therefore first compile and homogenize earthquake catalog of Ethiopia including Read Sea and Gulf of Aden regions into Moment magnitude Mw scale through completeness analysis in time and magnitudes. Secondly, mapping b-values for different Seismgenic regions and understand its implications for magma induced Seismicity in the regions. During the present study, a new homogenized earthquake catalog in moment magnitude scale (Mw), covering about 3814 events is prepared for Ethiopia including Red sea and Gulf of Aden regions. The present study area is bounded within Latitude (40N − 200)N and Longitude (340N − 480)N E and have a magnitude range of Mw (3.0–7.1) with a total coverage period of 56 years (1960 to 2016). The catalog has been analyzed for magnitude completeness (Mc) using Gutenberg’s Frequency Magnitude Distribution law and it is found to be complete respectively for Mc ≥ 4.6 ± 0.03, Mc ≥ 4.6 ± 0.03, Mc ≥ 3.2, Mc ≥ 3.1 and Mc ≥ 5.1 for Afar including red sea and Gulf of Aden, Afar rift and Dabbahu Volcano, Northern, Central, and Southern Main Ethiopian Rifts. Further, the corresponding average b-value of the regions Afar including Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, Afar and Dabbahu Volcano separately, Northern Main Ethiopian Rift, Central Main Ethiopian Rift and Southern Main Ethiopian Rift respectively are estimated to be 1.17 ± 0.05, 1.15 ± 0.05, 0.843, 0.826 and 1.03 with respective period of completeness from 2003 to 2014, 2005 to 2014, 2001 to 2003, 2001 to 2003 and 1960 to 2016 for the regions. Later, mapping of the b-values in the Gutenberg-Richter relation from the newly developed catalog was performed by binning the regions into minimum of 0.050x0.050 for Afar and Dabbahu region, 0.10x0.10 for Main Ethiopian rifts and 0.20x0.20 for the other regions. Thus, the b-value characteristics of various seismogenic zones within the area have been discussed. Hence, in this study, we clearly observed that magma chamber movement including mapping of volcanic centers and magmatic segments are mapped using b-values.

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Lamessa, G., Mammo, T., & K.Raghuvanshi, T. (2019). Homogenized earthquake catalog and b-value mapping for Ethiopia and its adjoining regions. Geoenvironmental Disasters, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40677-019-0131-y

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