- Characteristic earthquake
A characteristic earthquake is a repeating, large earthquake that occurs more frequently than local seismic monitoring would suggest. Characteristic earthquakes are usually defined from paleoseismology observations.
This has important implications for seismic hazard calculations (and earthquake insurance rates). Basically, it implies that there is a section of a fault that has very little observed seismicity, but is a high hazard because the paleoseismic studies show a regular pattern of large earthquakes.
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