Evidence for Synchronization in the Global Earthquake Catalog

R. Bendick, D. Mencin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Phase alignment (synchronization) is a generalized property of interacting oscillators. If such interactions apply to earthquakes, they should manifest as time-dependent variations in earthquake productivity organized according to a characteristic elastic loading period. Defining this period as renewal interval, the time required to accumulate the elastic potential energy released in a rupture, gives a consistent scaling property that can be used to search for temporal organization. We test for the expected structure in earthquake productivity using three different statistical tools optimized for different temporal sensitivities: Schuster spectra for events with short renewal intervals (0–25 years), Fourier power spectra for events with short and intermediate renewal intervals (0–100 years), and topological data analysis (TDA) for events with long renewal intervals (>100 years). All three indicate that earthquakes are organized in time according to renewal interval. Accounting for such unsteady temporal organization may improve forecasting skill by providing time-dependent event probabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GL087129
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 16 2020


  • earthquakes
  • emergent properties
  • nonlinear interactions
  • synchronization
  • temporal clusters


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence for Synchronization in the Global Earthquake Catalog'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this