# Comparison of Maximum

Likelihood Estimate and
Least-Squares Regression to
Compute b-values for Three
Different Tectonic Regimes
Christine Gammans

• b-values are inversely proportionate to the differential stress on a system (Schorlemmer et al. 2003) Gutenberg-Richter Relationship: log10N= a . 2005) • The global b-value is ~ 1 (Stein and Wysession. 201 .What is the b-value and why do we care? • Earthquake occurrence per magnitude follows a power law introduced by Ishimoto and Iida (1939) and Gutenberg and Richter (1944).bM (Gammans and Newman.

notably New Madrid and Eastern Tennessee – Question as to the existence of any significant strain field • China – Seismically active. earthquake activity • Chile – Subduction zone – Has produced two of the ten largest earthquakes on record (USGS).Tectonic Regimes • Eastern United States – Intraplate. few seismically active regions. . intraplate region – India’s collision with Asia produces significant strain and. therefore.

9634 5 6 10 0 1 2 3 4 Earthquake Magnitude b-value=1.Eastern United States Least-Squares Regression Maximum Likelihood Estimate 4 4 10 Frequency of Occurrence per Magnitude Frequency of Occurrence per Magnitude 10 3 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 3 10 2 10 1 10 0 0 1 2 3 4 Earthquake Magnitude b-value=0.2477 5 6 .

0923 100 0 0.4 1.0405 500 400 Least-Squares Regression 300 200 Mean b-value=1.5 1.0233x104 χ2=555.3 1.0214 Correlation Coefficient .2 b-value 1.9654 Standard Deviation=0.2105 Standard Deviation=0.1 1.000 Bootstraps? Maximum Likelihood Estimate 700 frequency of occurrence 600 Mean b-value=0.9 1 1.8 0.6 Chi-Squared Test p-value=1.Do they compare at 10.

0658 6 7 .China Least-Squares Regression Maximum Likelihood Estimate 4 4 10 Frequency of Occurrence per Magnitude Frequency of Occurrence per Magnitude 10 3 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 3 10 2 10 1 10 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 Earthquake Magnitude 6 b-value=0.9577 7 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 Earthquake Magnitude b-value=1.

95 1 1.0233x104 χ2=150.3044 Correlation .1 b-value 1.15 1.0103 600 frequency of occurrence 500 400 Least-Squares Regression 300 Mean b-value=1.0715 Standard Deviation=0.000 Bootstraps? Maximum Likelihood Estimate 700 Mean b-value=0.0620 200 100 0 0.35 Chi-Squared Test p-value=1.85 0.05 1.Do they Compare at 10.9577 Standard Deviation=0.9 0.2 1.3 1.25 1.

9769 7 8 .8081 8 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Earthquake Magnitude b-value=0.Chile Maximum Likelihood Least-Squares Regression 4 10 Frequency of Occurrence per Magnitude Frequency of Occurrence per Magnitude Estimate 3 10 2 10 1 10 0 10 0 4 10 3 10 2 10 1 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 Earthquake Magnitude 7 b-value=0.

0233x104 χ2=385.1 1.9923 Standard Deviation=0.7 0.000 Bootstraps? Maximum Likelihood Estimate 1200 frequency of occurrence 1000 Mean b-value=0.9 1 b-value 1.8082 Standard Deviation=0.2 1.4 Mean b-value=0.4640 .3 1.0810 Chi-Squared Test p-value=1.Do they Compare at 10.8 0.0067 800 600 Least-Squares Regression 400 200 0 0.

and. the least-squares method produced the more expected values for the Eastern United States (China and Chile are debatable) • The most appropriate method appears to vary by regime from this preliminary analysis. in the future. .Conclusions • The maximum likelihood estimate consistently gave the most consistent distribution across tectonic regimes and had the lowest error associated with the distribution • However. the results of each method should be analyzed before the method is finalized.

Observations of earthquakes registered with the microseismograph constructed recently. 327.usgs. • United States Geological Survey (2010). • Gutenberg. 539– 542. 185–188.. Inst. M. S. Newman (2011). S. D. Seismol. B. Earthquake Res. 437. 82. Variation in earthquake size distribution across different stress regimes. and M. doi:10.References • Gammans.. Historic World Earthquakes. 2011 from http://earthquake. and C. Soc. Retrieved April 27.. and K. and M. Nature. Blackwell. C. Seismological Research Letters. Iida (1939). Richter (1944).1038/nature04094. U. Bull. N. An Introduction to Seismology. K.. Wiemer.. V. • Stein. Wysession (2003). and A. 443– 478. Oxford. Is the Relationship Between Modern Seismicity and Strain Fields Well Behaved in the Plate Interior?.php . Earthquakes. Univ. • Ishimoto. Wyss (2005). Frequency of earthquakes in California.gov/earthquakes/world/historical_mag. and Earth Structure. • Schorlemmer. F. Am. Tokyo. Bull. 17. 34.