Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Lunar–solar periodicities of large earthquakes in southern California

Abstract

Large earthquakes in southern California with epicentres between 33 and 36° N have statistically significant 12-hourly, lunar fortnightly and 18.6-yr periodicities. Smaller earthquakes in the same region do not display these periodicities. A search for tidal effects associated with these periodicities shows that large earthquakes have significant correlations with the times and orientations of daily/semi-daily tidal stresses while the lunar fornightly term is associated with the ocean tides along the southern Californian coast.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Tamrazyan, G. P. Icarus 7, 59–65, (1967); 9 (1968), 574–592.

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Van Ruymbeke, M., Ducarme, B. & deBecker, M. Proc. 9th int. Symp. on Earth Tides, (Schweizerbart'sche, Stuttgart, 1983).

  3. 3

    Davison, C. Studies on the Periodicity of Earthquakes (Murby, London, 1938).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Knopoff, L. Int. J. lunar Stud. 1, 140–143 (1970).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Jeffreys, H. Gerl. Beitr. Geophys. 53, 111–139 (1938).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Lomnitz, C. Rev. Geophys. 4, 377–393 (1966).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Knopoff, L. Bull. seismol. Soc. Am. 54, 1865–1870 (1964).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    McNutt, M. & Heaton, T. H. California Geology 12–16 (January, 1981).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Young, D. & Zurn, W. J. Geophys. 45, 171–182 (1979).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Knopoff, L. & Gardner, J. K. Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc. 28, 311–313 (1972).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Knopoff, L. Interdisciplinary Symp., 16th General Assembly, Grenoble, 205 (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, 1975).

  12. 12

    Klein, F. W. Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc. 45, 245–295 (1976).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Heaton, T. H. Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc. 43, 307–326 (1975).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Allen, M. W. Bull. seismol. Soc. Am. 26, 147–157 (1936).

    Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Nordquist, J. M. Bull. seismol. Soc. Am. 54, 1003–1011 (1964).

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Hileman, J. A., Allen, C. R. & Nordquist, J. M. Seismicity of the Southern California Region, 1 January 1932 to 31 December 1972 (Seismology Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Friedman, M. E., Whitcomb, J. H., Allen, C. R. & Hileman, J.A. Seismicity of the Southern California Region, 1 January 1973 to 31 December 1974. (Seismology Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Coffman, J. L. & vonHake, C. A. (eds) Earthquake History of the United States (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Publ. 41-1, 1973).

  19. 19

    Wood, F.J. The Strategic Role of Perigean Spring Tides (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1976).

    Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Lewis, T. A. W. J. Sound Vib. 12, 353–375 (1970).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kilston, S., Knopoff, L. Lunar–solar periodicities of large earthquakes in southern California. Nature 304, 21–25 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1038/304021a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing