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A new hybrid Coulomb/statistical model for forecasting aftershock rates

Steacy, Sandy, Gerstenberger, Matt, Williams, Charles, Rhoades, David and Christophersen, Annemarie (2013) A new hybrid Coulomb/statistical model for forecasting aftershock rates. Geophysical Journal International . pp. 1-6. [Journal article]

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URL: http://gji.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/ggt404?ijkey=TzuIXYUXcDSOluM&keytype=ref

DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggt404


Forecasting the spatial and temporal distribution of aftershocks is of great importance to earthquake scientists, civil protection authorities and the general public as these events cause disproportionate damage and consternation relative to their size. At present, there are two main approaches to such forecasts—purely statistical methods based on observations of the initial portions of aftershock sequences and a physics-based approach based on Coulomb stress changes caused by the main shock. Here we develop a new method which combines the spatial constraints from the Coulomb model with the statistical power of the STEP (short-term earthquake probability) approach. We test this pseudo prospectively and retrospectively on the Canterbury sequence against the STEP model and a Coulomb rate–state method, using data from the first 10 d following each main event to forecast the rate of M ≥ 4 events in the following 100 d. We find that in retrospective tests the new model outperforms STEP for two events in the sequence but this is not the case for pseudo-prospective tests. Further, the Coulomb rate–state approach never performs better than STEP. Our results suggest that incorporating the physical constraints from Coulomb stress changes can increase the forecasting power of statistical models and clearly show the importance of good data quality if prospective forecasts are to be implemented in practice.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Earthquake interaction, forecasting, and prediction; probabilistic forecasting; statistical seismology
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:27387
Deposited By: Mrs Linda Allen
Deposited On:05 Oct 2013 09:13
Last Modified:04 Oct 2017 16:03

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