Seismogenesis and earthquake triggering during the 2010–2011 Rigan (Iran) earthquake sequence

Hiwa Mohammadi, Thomas J. Bayliss, Esmaeil Nekouei Ghachkanlu

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This study assesses the aftershock activity of two earthquakes that occurred on December 20, 2010 with magnitude of MN 6.5 (Global CMT Mw 6.5) and January 27, 2011 with magnitude of MN 6.0 (Global CMT Mw 6.2) in the Rigan region of southeastern Iran. This study has been done by assessing the statistical properties of the aftershock sequences associated with each of these earthquakes, namely b-value of Gutenberg–Richter relation, partitioning of radiated seismic energy, p -value of modified Omori law and the DC-value associated with the fractal dimension. The b-values of b = 0.89 ± 0.08 and b = 0.88 ± 0.08 were calculated for first main shock and second main shock sequence respectively. This suggests that this region is characterized by large differential stress; the genesis of large aftershock activity in a short time interval gives power this. Further, 2.2% of the whole energy is related with the aftershocks activity for first main shock sequence while 97.8% is associated with main shock; for second sequence, 20% of the total energy is associated with the aftershocks activity while 80% is associated with main shock. The p -values of 1.1 ± 0.12 and 1.1 ± 0.1 were calculated for first and second main shocks sequence respectively, which imply fast decay rate of aftershocks and high surface heat flux. A value of the spatial fractal dimension (Dc) equal to 2.34 ± 0.03 and 2.54 ± 0.02 for first and second main shocks sequence respectively, which reveals random spatial distribution and source in a two-dimensional plane that is being filled-up by fractures. Moreover, we then use the models to calculate the Coulomb stress change to appraise coming seismic hazard by inspecting the static Coulomb stress field due to these two main shocks for the recognition of the conceivable regions of aftershocks activity. The first main shock increased stress by more than 0.866 bars at the hypocenter of the second main shock, thus promoting the failure. In addition, the cumulative coseismic Coulomb stress changes due to the reveals that most of the aftershocks happened in the region of increased Coulomb stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84–95
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of African Earth Sciences
Early online date19 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Rigan
  • Statistical properties of aftershocks
  • b-value
  • Partitioning of radiated seismic energy
  • Omori law
  • Spatial fractal dimension (DC)
  • Coulomb failure stress

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