loading page

New physical implications from revisiting foreshock activity in southern California
  • Ester Manganiello,
  • Marcus Herrmann,
  • Warner Marzocchi
Ester Manganiello
University of study Naples Federico II, University of study Naples Federico II

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Marcus Herrmann
University of Naples 'Federico II', University of Naples 'Federico II'
Author Profile
Warner Marzocchi
The University of Naples Federico II, The University of Naples Federico II
Author Profile


Foreshock analysis promises new insights into the earthquake nucleation process and could potentially improve earthquake forecasting. Well-performing clustering models like the Epidemic-Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model assume that foreshocks and general seismicity are generated by the same physical process, implying that foreshocks can be identified only in retrospect. However, several studies have recently found higher foreshock activity than predicted by ETAS. Here, we revisit the foreshock activity in southern California using different statistical methods and find anomalous foreshock sequences, i.e., those unexplained by ETAS, mostly for mainshock magnitudes below 5.5. The spatial distribution of these anomalies reveals a preferential occurrence in zones of high heat flow, which are known to host swarm-like seismicity. Outside these regions, the foreshocks generally behave as expected by ETAS. These findings show that anomalous foreshock sequences in southern California do not indicate a pre-slip nucleation process, but swarm-like behavior driven by heat flow.