Recently, Laura Gulia investigated the spatio-temporal evolution of the earthquake size distribution throughout a seismic sequence focusing on the b-value. This is a parameter characterizing the relationship between the earthquake magnitude and the number of earthquakes. She and her colleagues found out that, immediately after a mainshock, the b-value increases by 20%-30% and remains high for at least the following 5 years, reducing the chance of occurrence of a larger earthquake near the fault that originated the mainshock.
Based on their research, Laura Gulia and Stefan Wiemer developed the Foreshock Traffic Light System (FTLS), a promising tool for the mainshock and aftershock hazard assessment. In the interview with Gabriele Amato from the NH blog, Laura Gulia explains more about the thoughts behind it and future research plans. Read the full interview here.
Gulia, L., and S. Wiemer (2019). Real-time discrimination of earthquake foreshocks and aftershocks, Nature 574, 193–199. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1606-4