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Meteorological triggering of earthquake swarms at Mt. Hochstaufen, SE-Germany

Kraft, T., J. Wassermann, E. Schmedes, and H. Igel (2006), Meteorological triggering of earthquake swarms at Mt. Hochstaufen, SE-Germany, Tectonophysics, 424(3-4), 245-258, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2006.03.044.

A growing body of evidence suggests that fluids are intimately linked to a variety of faulting processes. Yet, the particular mechanisms through which fluids and associated parameters influence the stress regime and thus the seismicity of a particular area are not well understood.

We carry out a study of the spatio-temporal behavior of earthquakes, fluid-related parameters (groundwater levels) and meteorological observables (precipitation) in the swarm earthquake area of Bad Reichenhall, southeastern Germany. The small volume in which the earthquakes take place, almost yearly occurring earthquake swarms and a permanent, seismo-meteorological monitoring network, provide nearly controlled experimental conditions to study the physics of earthquake swarms and to infer characteristic properties of the seismogenic crust.

In this paper we (1) describe this fairly unique study area in terms of geology, seismicity and atmospheric conditions; (2) present two cases of earthquake swarms that seem to follow above-average rainfall events; and (3) examine the observed migration of hypocenters with a simple pore pressure diffusion model.

We find significant correlation of seismicity with rainfall and groundwater level increase, and estimate an average hydraulic diffusivity of D = 0.75 ± 0.35 m²/s for Mt. Hochstaufen in 2002.
Further information
  author = {T. Kraft and J. Wassermann and E. Schmedes and H. Igel},
  journal = {Tectonophysics},
  month = {oct},
  number = {3-4},
  pages = {245-258},
  title = {{Meteorological triggering of earthquake swarms at Mt. Hochstaufen, SE-Germany}},
  volume = {424},
  year = {2006},
  language = {en},
  url = {http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/~igel/PDF/kraftetal{\_}tecto{\_}2006.pdf},
  doi = {10.1016/j.tecto.2006.03.044},
%0 Journal Article
%A Kraft, T.
%A Wassermann, J.
%A Schmedes, E.
%A Igel, H.
%D 2006
%N 3-4
%V 424
%J Tectonophysics
%P 245-258
%T Meteorological triggering of earthquake swarms at Mt. Hochstaufen, SE-Germany
%U http://www.geophysik.uni-muenchen.de/~igel/PDF/kraftetal_tecto_2006.pdf
%8 oct
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