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International Journal of Geophysics
Volume 2013, Article ID 391637, 11 pages
Review Article

Characteristic Changes of Scale Invariance of Seismicity Prior to Large Earthquakes: A Constructive Review

Research Center for Earthquake Prediction, Earthquake Administration of Jiangsu Province, No. 3 Wei Gang, Nanjing 210014, China

Received 7 February 2013; Revised 2 May 2013; Accepted 10 June 2013

Academic Editor: Filippos Vallianatos

Copyright © 2013 Qiang Li and Gui-Ming Xu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recently, research on the characteristic changes of scale invariance of seismicity before large earthquakes has received considerable attention. However, in some circumstances, it is not easy to obtain these characteristic changes because the features of seismicity in different regions are various. In this paper, we firstly introduced some important research developments of the characteristic changes of scale invariance of seismicity before large earthquakes, which are of particular importance to the researchers in earthquake forecasting and seismic activity. We secondly discussed the strengths and weaknesses of different scale invariance methods such as the local scaling property, the multifractal spectrum, the Hurst exponent analysis, and the correlation dimension. We finally came up with a constructive suggestion for the research strategy in this topic. Our suggestion is that when people try to obtain the precursory information before large earthquakes or to study the fractal property of seismicity by means of the previous scale invariance methods, the strengths and weaknesses of these methods have to be taken into consideration for the purpose of increasing research efficiency. If they do not consider the strengths and weaknesses of these methods, the efficiency of their research might greatly decrease.