The diversity of the physics of earthquakes

2004 Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and biological sciences  
Earthquakes exhibit diverse characteristics. Most shallow earthquakes are "brittle" in the sense that they excite seismic waves efficiently. However, some earthquakes are slow, as characterized by tsunami earthquakes and even slower events without any obvious seismic radiation. Also, some earthquakes, like the 1994 Bolivian deep earthquake, involved a large amount of fracture and thermal energy and may be more appropriately called a thermal event, rather than an earthquake. Some earthquakes are
more » ... ome earthquakes are caused by processes other than faulting, such as landslides. This diversity can be best understood in terms of the difference in the partition of the released potential energy to radiated, fracture, and thermal energies during an earthquake. This approach requires detailed studies on quantification of earthquakes and estimation of various kinds of energies involved in earthquake processes. This paper reviews the progress in this field from historical and personal points of view and discusses its implications for earthquake damage mitigation. Key words: quantification of earthquakes; energy budget of earthquakes; radiation efficiency; rupture speed; earthquake rupture pattern; earthquake early warning.
doi:10.2183/pjab.80.297 fatcat:t3bti7fgcjd5jnnh4jzelc5pcy