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We examine the consistency of natural and model seismicity with the maximum entropy production hypothesis for open, slowly-driven, steady-state, dissipative systems. Assuming the commonly-observed power-law feedback between remote boundary stress and strain rate at steady state, several natural observations are explained by the system organizing to maximize entropy production in a near but strictly sub-critical state. These include the low but finite seismic efficiency and stress drop, an upper magnitude cut-off that is large but finite, and the universally- observed Gutenberg-Richter b-value of 1 in frequency-magnitude data. In this state the model stress field organizes into coherent domains, providing a physical mechanism for retaining a finite memory of past events. This implies a finite degree of predictability, strongly limited theoretically by the proximity to criticality and practically by the difficulty of directly observing Earth's stress field at an equivalent resolution.
- earthquake dynamics
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- 1 Finished
1/10/04 → 31/03/09