SEMINÁRIO: Estimating the Maximum Possible Earthquake Magnitude Using Extreme Value Methodology


  • Tom Reynkens – Research Centre Insurance – Leuven, Belgium
  • FCUL – Campo Grande – Bloco C6 Piso 4 – Sala: 6.4.30- 14:30h
  • Quarta-feira, 29 de Novembro de 2017
  • Referência Projeto: Projecto FCT: UID/MAT/00006/2013

The area-characteristic, maximum possible earthquake magnitude is required by the earthquake engineering community, disaster management agencies and the insurance industry. The Gutenberg-Richter law predicts that earthquake magnitudes follow a truncated exponential distribution. In the geophysical literature several parametric and non-parametric estimation procedures were proposed. Estimation of the maximum possible earthquake magnitude is of course an extreme value problem to which the classical methods for endpoint estimation could be applied. We argue that recent methods on truncated tails at high levels (Beirlant et al., Extremes, 2016; Electron. J. Stat., 2017) constitute a more appropriate setting for this estimation problem. We present upper confidence bounds to quantify the uncertainty of the point estimates. We also compare methods from the extreme value and geophysical literature through simulations. Finally, the different methods are applied to the magnitude data for the earthquakes induced by gas extraction in the Groningen province of the Netherlands.


Beirlant J., Fraga Alves I., Gomes M.I. (2016). Tail fitting for truncated and non-truncated Pareto-type distributions. Extremes, 19(3):429–462

Beirlant J., Fraga Alves I., Reynkens T. (2017). Fitting tails affected by truncation. Electron. J. Stat., 11:2026–2065

Beirlant J., Kijko A., Reynkens T., Einmahl J.H.J. (2017). Estimating the maximum possible earthquake magnitude using extreme value methodology: the Groningen case. Available on arXiv:1709.07662.