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A new method to identify earthquake swarms applied to seismicity near the San Jacinto Fault, California

We have developed a new method to search for swarms by comparing the number of neighbours to the number of background events in scalable spatiotemporal windows. Applying the method in the San Jacinto Fault Zone, we find swarms at a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. The SJFZ contains strong spatial and temporal variations of swarm events: the two ends of the SJFZ are dominated by more and larger swarms and the years between 1991 and 1998 host fewer swarms than the decades before and after. In general more swarms are found in normal faulting regions. While most of the estimated swarm linear migration speeds are lower than those of typical creep or slow slip events, large values of estimated hydraulic diffusivity are found near the southern end of the SJFZ (Salton Sea), which indicates that these swarms could be more correlated with the local fluid flow.

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