Earthquake prediction research has searched for both informational phenomena, those that provide information about earthquake hazards useful to the public, and causal phenomena, causally related to the physical processes governing failure on a fault, to improve our understanding of those processes. Neither informational nor causal phenomena are a subset of the other. I propose a classification of potential earthquake predictors of informational, causal, and predictive phenomena, where predictors are causal phenomena that provide more accurate assessments of the earthquake hazard than can be gotten from assuming a random distribution. Achieving higher, more accurate probabilities than a random distribution requires much more information about the precursor than just that it is causally related to the earthquake.
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Earthquake prediction: The interaction of public policy and science