Early Manifestations of Short-Term Precursors in Stress-Strain State Dynamics of Southern California

V. G. Bondur, M. B. Gokhberg, I. A. Garagash, D. A. Alekseev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract—The stress-strain state before the М = 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake in Southern California is analyzed based on spatiotemporal distribution of shear strains calculated in the geomechanical model within local ~100 × 100 km crustal segments at a depth of 3–7 km. In the epicentral zone of the earthquake, starting from three years before the event, a successive series of the time intervals, up to the occurrence of the earthquake, when shear deformations are completely absent and rocks are farthest from ultimate strength—the so-called quiescence zones—are established. The spatial distribution of shear strains in the vicinity of the epicentral zone is analyzed during the quiescence intervals and subsequent bursts of maximum amplitude in the epicentral zone itself. The time intervals of the bursts are called excursions. The successive emergence of maxima in shear strain amplitudes in the epicentral zone and surrounding medium during the excursions corresponds to the situation of a swing when the entire preparation region of a future earthquake is rocking up to the moment of event. Consistency of the obtained results with the existing theoretical models of earthquake preparation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-519
Number of pages12
JournalIzvestiya, Physics of the Solid Earth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • earthquake
  • excursions
  • geomechanical model
  • shear deformation
  • Southern California
  • stress-strain state


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