S M J R Goel
Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 92 Issue 3 November 1983 pp 223-237
Whether the earthquake occurrences follow a Poisson process model is a widely debated issue. The Poisson process model has great conceptual appeal and those who rejected it under pressure of empirical evidence have tried to restore it by trying to identify main events and suppressing foreshocks and aftershocks. The approach here is to estimate the density functions for the waiting times of the future earthquakes. For this purpose, the notion of Gram-Charlier series which is a standard method for the estimation of density functions has been extended based on the orthogonality properties of certain polynomials such as Laguerre and Legendre. It is argued that it is best to estimate density functions in the context of a particular null hypothesis. Using the results of estimation a simple test has been designed to establish that earthquakes do not occur as independent events, thus violating one of the postulates of a Poisson process model. Both methodological and utilitarian aspects are dealt with.
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