Quakefinder Blog

Who do you tell if you have generated an earthquake forecast?

In the history of QuakeFinder we have used historical sensor data in our analysis of predicting earthquakes. QuakeFinder is making significant progress towards the goal of forecasting earthquakes using each day’s new data.

To be in a position to make a forecast for a specific time, location and magnitude we would need to see a two week pattern of all of the following:

• a 2-4 day pattern of increased unipolar pulses

• 1 day pattern of increased positive air conductivity

• an increased GOES satellite Infrared signal over the same ground site

In addition all the data would need to be reviewed and vetted. Who do we provide such a forecast to and how would it be tested and validated? USGS has the congressional mandate to issue all earthquake forecasts in the United States. While that might sound simple, with the present system it is complicated. USGS won’t issue a forecast until the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council (CEPEC) reviews it.

The Collaboratory for Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP), which is operated by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), held a conference in May aimed at coordinating the external testing of earthquake forecasts, regardless if they were generated from seismic event patterns modeling or electromagnetic monitoring methods. QuakeFinder participated in and presented at this conference. Presently CSEP only reviews forecasts that run on CSEP computers and use seismicity data.

The SCEC has undertaken a project, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, to develop a facility for registering and testing external forecasting and prediction (EFP) procedures; i.e., those run outside the existing CSEP. This facility will allow investigators to document their methods and submit forecasts and predictions for retrospective and prospective testing in accordance with collaboratory standards.

Coordination of testing is an important, and necessary, first step in the process of vetting future earthquake forecasts as we work towards government and emergency responder community acceptance of forecasts. When you consider the potential consequences of actually making a forecast, it is a necessary step. There are several groups, including QuakeFinder, going through the registration and testing process.

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