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Point process modelling of reservoir-induced seismicity

  • Masajiro Imoto (a1)


A point process procedure can be used to study reservoir-induced seismicity (RIS), in which the intensity function representing earthquake hazard is a combination of three terms: a constant background term, an ETAS (epidemic-type aftershock sequence) term for aftershocks, and a time function derived from observation of water levels of a reservoir. This paper presents the results of such a study of the seismicity in the vicinity of the Tarbela reservoir in Pakistan. Making allowance for changes in detection capability and the background seismicity related to tectonic activity, earthquakes of magnitude ≥ 2.0, occurring between May 1978 and January 1982 and whose epicentres were within 100 km of the reservoir, were used in this analysis. Several different intensities were compared via their Akaike information criterion (AIC) values relative to those of a Poisson process. The results demonstrate that the seismicity within 20 km of the reservoir correlates with water levels of the reservoir, namely, active periods occur about 250 days after the appearance of low water levels. This suggests that unloading the reservoir activates the seismicity beneath it. Seasonal variations of the seismicity in an area up to 100 km from the reservoir were also found, but these could not be adequately interpreted by an appropriate RIS mechanism.


Corresponding author

1 Postal address: National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, 3–1 Ten'nodai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken, 305–0006, Japan. Email:


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Point process modelling of reservoir-induced seismicity

  • Masajiro Imoto (a1)


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