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Testing earthquake prediction algorithms: Statistically significant advance prediction of the largest earthquakes in the Circum-Pacific, 1992-1997

Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

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, , , and
DOI: 10.1016/S0031-9201(98)00159-9

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Abstract

Algorithms M8 and MSc (i.e., the Mendocino Scenario) were used in a real-time intermediate-term research prediction of the strongest earthquakes in the Circum-Pacific seismic belt. Predictions are made by M8 first. Then, the areas of alarm are reduced by MSc at the cost that some earthquakes are missed in the second approximation of prediction. In 1992-1997, five earthquakes of magnitude 8 and above occurred in the test area: all of them were predicted by M8 and MSc identified correctly the locations of four of them. The space-time volume of the alarms is 36% and 18%, correspondingly, when estimated with a normalized product measure of empirical distribution of epicenters and uniform time. The statistical significance of the achieved results is beyond 99% both for M8 and MSc. For magnitude 7.5 + , 10 out of 19 earthquakes were predicted by M8 in 40% and five were predicted by M8-MSc in 13% of the total volume considered. This implies a significance level of 81% for M8 and 92% for M8-MSc. The lower significance levels might result from a global change in seismic regime in 1993-1996, when the rate of the largest events has doubled and all of them become exclusively normal or reversed faults. The predictions are fully reproducible; the algorithms M8 and MSc in complete formal definitions were published before we started our experiment [Keilis-Borok, V.I., Kossobokov, V.G., 1990. Premonitory activation of seismic flow: Algorithm M8, Phys. Earth and Planet. Inter. 61, 73-83; Kossobokov, V.G., Keilis-Borok, V.I., Smith, S.W., 1990. Localization of intermediate-term earthquake prediction, J. Geophys. Res., 95, 19763-19772; Healy, J.H., Kossobokov, V.G., Dewey, J.W., 1992. A test to evaluate the earthquake prediction algorithm, M8. U.S. Geol. Surv. OFR 92-401]. M8 is available from the IASPEI Software Library [Healy, J.H., Keilis-Borok, V.I., Lee, W.H.K. (Eds.), 1997. Algorithms for Earthquake Statistics and Prediction, Vol. 6. IASPEI Software Library]. ?? 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Testing earthquake prediction algorithms: Statistically significant advance prediction of the largest earthquakes in the Circum-Pacific, 1992-1997
Series title:
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
DOI:
10.1016/S0031-9201(98)00159-9
Volume
111
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors
First page:
187
Last page:
196