New Updated Classification of Shallow Earthquakes Based on Faulting Style

  • Emad Abulrahman Mohammed Salih Al-Heety Department of Applied Geology, College of Science, University of Anbar, Iraq
Keywords: faulting, earthquake, magnitude, b-constant, earthquakes classification


Earthquakes occur on faults and create new faults. They also occur on  normal, reverse and strike-slip faults. The aim of this work is to suggest a new unified classification of Shallow depth earthquakes based on the faulting styles, and to characterize each class. The characterization criteria include the maximum magnitude, focal depth, b-constant value, return period and relations between magnitude, focal depth and dip of fault plane. Global Centroid Moment Tensor (GCMT) catalog is the source of the used data. This catalog covers the period from Jan.1976 to Dec. 2017. We selected only the shallow (depth less than 70kms) pure, normal, strike-slip and reverse earthquakes (magnitude ≥ 5) and excluded the oblique earthquakes. The majority of normal and strike-slip earthquakes occurred in the upper crust, while the reverse earthquakes occurred throughout the thickness of the crust. The main trend for the derived b-values for the three classes was: b normal fault>bstrike-slip fault>breverse fault.  The mean return period for the normal earthquake was longer than that of the strike-slip earthquakes, while the reverse earthquakes had the shortest period. The obtained results report the relationship between the magnitude and focal depth of the normal earthquakes. A negative significant correlation between the magnitude and dip class for the normal and reverse earthquakes is reported. Negative and positive correlation relations between the focal depth and dip class were recorded for normal and reverse earthquakes, respectively. The suggested classification of earthquakes provides significant information to understand seismicity, seismtectonics, and seismic hazard analysis.

How to Cite
Al-Heety, E. A. M. S. (2020). New Updated Classification of Shallow Earthquakes Based on Faulting Style. Iraqi Journal of Science, 61(1), 103-111.