Modeling the lithosphere dynamics and seismicity for the Near East
This study is concerned with the modeling of Earth dynamics for the central part of the Alpine-Himalayan belt. The region is simulated by a set of perfectly rigid blocks whose geometry is specified by the tectonic structure of the region. The blocks form a layer between two horizontal planes. Movements and deformations occur both in the fault planes that separate the blocks and form the outer boundary of the entire model and in the lower plane that separates the blocks from the underlying medium. Blocks interact with one another and with the underlying medium in a viscoelastic way. An earthquake occurs on a fault plane whenever the ratio of elastic stress to pressure for some part of the fault exceeds a specified limit. The catalogs obtained from this modeling simulate several properties of the seismicity actually observed in the Near East, indicating that modeling procedures can be employed to deal with geodynamical problems, in particular, to refine the directions and magnitudes of relative velocities for the blocks.