Abstract: This article will take you through an exploratory analysis of data contained in earthquake catalogues. The aim is to provide the reader with ideas about how to start investigating the properties of a new dataset in a straightforward and rigorous way. We start to introduce more advanced concepts, such as how to determine catalogue completeness, but reserve detailed descriptions of such advanced methodologies to other articles.
The target audience is undergraduate and graduate students who would like to use SSLib (Harte and Brownrigg 2010) and the R Language (Team 2010) to explore earthquake data. We have chosen to use R because it is freely available on all platforms and hope this makes the tutorial as accessible as possible. This article focusses on data exploration rather than being comprehensive guide to the application.
You will learn about basic plotting tools that can be used to explore the properties of earthquake data and visually identify diffculties in choosing a subset of the a total catalogue for subsequent analysis. This section provides an introductory overview but does not provide technical solutions to those problems.