Articles | Volume 13, issue 10
Research article
18 Oct 2013
Research article |  | 18 Oct 2013

Precursory pattern of tidal triggering of earthquakes in six regions of China: the possible relation to the crustal heterogeneity

Q. Li and G.-M. Xu

Abstract. We found the possible correlation between the precursory pattern of tidal triggering of earthquakes and the crustal heterogeneities, which is of particular importance to the researchers in earthquake prediction and earthquake hazard prevention. We investigated the connection between the tidal variations and earthquake occurrence in the Liyang, Wunansha, Cangshan, Wenan, Luquan and Yaoan regions of China. Most of the regions show a higher correlation with tidal triggering in several years preceding the large or destructive earthquakes compared to other times, indicating that the tidal triggering may inherently relate to the nucleation of the destructive earthquakes during this time. In addition, the analysis results indicate that the Liyang, Cangshan and Luquan regions, with stronger heterogeneity, show statistically significant effects of tidal triggering preceding the large or destructive earthquakes, while the Wunansha, Wenan and Yaoan regions, with relatively weak heterogeneity, show statistically insignificant effects of it, signifying that the precursory pattern of tidal triggering of earthquakes in these six regions is possibly related to the heterogeneities of the crustal rocks. The above results suggest that when people try to find the potential earthquake hazardous areas or make middle–long-term earthquake forecasting by means of precursory pattern of the tidal triggering, the crustal heterogeneity in these areas has to be taken into consideration for the purpose of increasing the prediction efficiency. If they do not consider the influence of crustal heterogeneity on the tidal triggering of earthquakes, the prediction efficiency might greatly decrease.