71. Rong, Y., P. Bird, and D. D. Jackson [2016] Earthquake potential and magnitude limits inferred from a geodetic strain-rate model of southern Europe, Geophys. J. Int., 205(1), 509-522, doi: 10.1093/gji/ggw018.

Abstract. The project Seismic Hazard Harmonization in Europe (SHARE), completed in 2013, presents significant improvements over previous regional seismic hazard modeling efforts. The Global Strain Rate Map v2.1, sponsored by the Global Earthquake Model Foundation and built on a large set of self-consistent geodetic GPS velocities, was released in 2014. To check the SHARE seismic source models that were based mainly on historical earthquakes and active fault data, we first evaluate the SHARE historical earthquake catalogues and demonstrate that the earthquake magnitudes are acceptable. Then, we construct an earthquake potential model using the Global Strain Rate Map data. SHARE models provided parameters from which magnitude–frequency distributions can be specified for each of 437 seismic source zones covering most of Europe. Because we are interested in proposed magnitude limits, and the original zones had insufficient data for accurate estimates, we combine zones into five groups according to SHARE’s estimates of maximum magnitude. Using the strain rates, we calculate tectonic moment rates for each group. Next, we infer seismicity rates from the tectonic moment rates and compare them with historical and SHARE seismicity rates. For two of the groups, the tectonic moment rates are higher than the seismic moment rates of the SHARE models. Consequently, the rates of large earthquakes forecast by the SHARE models are lower than those inferred from tectonic moment rate. In fact, the SHARE models forecast higher seismicity rates than the historical rates, which indicate that the authors of SHARE were aware of the potentially higher seismic activities in the zones. For one group, the tectonic moment rate is lower than the seismic moment rates forecast by the SHARE models. As a result, the rates of large earthquakes in that group forecast by the SHARE model are higher than those inferred from tectonic moment rate, but lower than what the historical data show. For the other two groups, the seismicity rates from tectonic moment rate, historical data and SHARE models are consistent. For four groups, the maximum magnitudes used by SHARE are fairly consistent with the probable maximum magnitudes inferred from tectonic strain rates. This study demonstrates that: (1) the strain-rate data are useful for constraining seismicity rates and magnitude limits; and (2) SHARE seismic source models and historical earthquake catalogues are satisfactory.