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Verifying the Gutenberg-Richter law at small magnitudes

  1. Sep 25, 2010 #1
    So, I downloaded some earthquake data from the USGS database. I then plotted the log of the number of earthquakes with magnitude greater than or equal to M versus the magnitude M. This should produce a nice linear trend as predicted by the Gutenberg-Richter law. However, there is an apparent dearth of earthquakes at low magnitude.

    Is this due to the sensitivity of instruments used to detect the earthquakes? Is this a well known occurrence? Is it affected by "declustering" of earthquakes at higher magnitudes?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2010 #2
    Anybody? Really?
  4. Sep 30, 2010 #3
    Small earthquakes harder to detect, not really due to sensitivity of instruments, more to do with signal drowned in noise.
  5. Oct 1, 2010 #4
    Seems like you don't have a full data set. I also agree with billiards.
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