Precursory seismic activation and critical-point phenomena

J B Rundle, W Klein, D L Turcotte, B D Malamud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we relate the behavior of seismicity prior to a characteristic earthquake to the excitation in proximity to a spinodal instability. We illustrate the spinodal instability as the upper limit of superheated water prior to a steam explosion. We draw an analogy between the steam explosion and a characteristic earthquake, and show that the power-law activation associated with the spinodal instability is essentially identical to the power-law increase in Benioff strain observed prior to characteristic earthquakes. We find that theory and actual data give very similar results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2182
Number of pages18
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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