About this Research Topic
More than 1200 major to great earthquakes occurred worldwide since the beginning of the instrumental era, i.e. after 1900. In particular, from mid-2004 to mid-2019, 21 Mw ≥ 8.0 earthquakes occurred globally (∼1.4 per year), compared to 73 that took place from 1900 to mid-2004 (∼0.7 per year). This short-term seismic rate increase coincides with very fast advances in technological and scientific capabilities in the field of Geosciences and more specifically of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology. To mention some, dense global networks of seismic sensors, GPS stations and satellite imaging, tsunami gauges, geophysical surveying of the gravity and EM fields of the Earth, facilitate unprecedented analyses of precursory, co-seismic, post-seismic processes, as well as their societal impact through comprehensive modelling of seismic consequences.
Despite the aforementioned enhancement in earthquake research, there are cases that information for major to great earthquakes like location, moment tensor, rupture propagation, relation with secondary effects are to date poorly known and both the causative sources and triggering forces are still debated by the scientific community. Such ambiguities are often the source of misleading seismic hazard estimates that may at times result in adverse and unexpected impacts. In addition, the effect of human activities on the physical processes of the earthquake cycle, imposing unpredicted seismic risk on the exposed assets, is a challenging topic of the modern research.
The Goal of this Research Topic is to assemble studies of seismogenic sources able to produce major to great earthquakes, focusing on their nature and rupture properties, pre-seismic and co-seismic deformation, interactions with nearby sources, spatiotemporal arrangement of aftershocks, ground shaking characteristics, and induced secondary effects. This goal may be achieved through the application of multidisciplinary geophysical analyses both to most recent earthquakes and to those earthquakes occurred in the past decades for which the application of new methodologies may overcome limitations of the available early instrumental data likely enabling new constraints on the causative faults. This branch has the additional aim of reconciling previously discordant source models often associated to past earthquakes.
We welcome Original Research, Reviews, Mini Reviews and Perspectives contributions dealing with multidisciplinary geophysical analyses based on the implementation of advanced techniques such as: inversion methods, processing of seismological, geodetic and gravimetric data, remote sensing, physical and numerical modelling, aimed (but not limited) to:
- Identifying major to great earthquake seismic structures and/or refine their geometry and kinematics;
- Imaging the overall co- and post-seismic rupture pattern of major/great events;
- Revisiting of past earthquakes using up-to-date methodologies;
- Investigating of pre-seismic deformation detected from GNSS observations;
- Framing the earthquake rupture process into the regional geodynamics; and
- Contributing to the issue of anthropogenic triggering of large earthquakes.
Keywords: Major to great earthquakes, seismic rupture, instrumental data, geophysical inversion methods, physical and numerical modelling
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