A synoptic view of the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3)

Seismological Research Letters
By: , and 



Probabilistic forecasting of earthquake‐producing fault ruptures informs all major decisions aimed at reducing seismic risk and improving earthquake resilience. Earthquake forecasting models rely on two scales of hazard evolution: long‐term (decades to centuries) probabilities of fault rupture, constrained by stress renewal statistics, and short‐term (hours to years) probabilities of distributed seismicity, constrained by earthquake‐clustering statistics. Comprehensive datasets on both hazard scales have been integrated into the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, Version 3 (UCERF3). UCERF3 is the first model to provide self‐consistent rupture probabilities over forecasting intervals from less than an hour to more than a century, and it is the first capable of evaluating the short‐term hazards that result from multievent sequences of complex faulting. This article gives an overview of UCERF3, illustrates the short‐term probabilities with aftershock scenarios, and draws some valuable scientific conclusions from the modeling results. In particular, seismic, geologic, and geodetic data, when combined in the UCERF3 framework, reject two types of fault‐based models: long‐term forecasts constrained to have local Gutenberg–Richter scaling, and short‐term forecasts that lack stress relaxation by elastic rebound.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A synoptic view of the Third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3)
Series title Seismological Research Letters
DOI 10.1785/0220170045
Volume 88
Issue 5
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center, John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis
Description 9 p.
First page 1259
Last page 1267