Adaptively smoothed seismicity earthquake forecasts for Italy

Maximilian J. Werner, Agnes Helmstetter, David D. Jackson, Yan Y. Kagan, Stefan Wiemer

Abstract


We present a model for estimation of the probabilities of future earthquakes of magnitudes m ≥ 4.95 in Italy. This model is a modified version of that proposed for California, USA, by Helmstetter et al. [2007] and Werner et al. [2010a], and it approximates seismicity using a spatially heterogeneous, temporally homogeneous Poisson point process. The temporal, spatial and magnitude dimensions are entirely decoupled. Magnitudes are independently and identically distributed according to a tapered Gutenberg-Richter magnitude distribution. We have estimated the spatial distribution of future seismicity by smoothing the locations of past earthquakes listed in two Italian catalogs: a short instrumental catalog, and a longer instrumental and historic catalog. The bandwidth of the adaptive spatial kernel is estimated by optimizing the predictive power of the kernel estimate of the spatial earthquake density in retrospective forecasts. When available and reliable, we used small earthquakes of m ≥ 2.95 to reveal active fault structures and 29 probable future epicenters. By calibrating the model with these two catalogs of different durations to create two forecasts, we intend to quantify the loss (or gain) of predictability incurred when only a short, but recent, data record is available. Both forecasts were scaled to five and ten years, and have been submitted to the Italian prospective forecasting experiment of the global Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP). An earlier forecast from the model was submitted by Helmstetter et al. [2007] to the Regional Earthquake Likelihood Model (RELM) experiment in California, and with more than half of the five-year experimental period over, the forecast has performed better than the others.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-4839
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X