Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 3), pp. 187-195, 2011
Anna Maria Lombardi and Warner Marzocchi
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00143 Roma, Italy
(Received April 1, 2010; Revised January 4, 2011; Accepted February 1, 2011; Online published March 4, 2011)
The purpose of this work is to apply the Double Branching Model (DBM) to forecast moderate-large Japanese seismicity. The proposed model is time-dependent, since it assumes that each earthquake can generate or is correlated to other earthquakes, through physical mechanisms acting at different spatio-temporal scales. The model is set up through two sequential steps. In the first step, we estimate the well-established short time clustering. Then, we analyze and characterize the declustered catalog through a second order branching process. The inclusion of the second branching is motivated by the statistically significant departure of the declustered catalog from a time-independent model. From a physical point of view, this new branching accounts for possible long-term earthquake interactions. Some recent applications of this model at global and regional scales (Marzocchi and Lombardi, 2008; Lombardi and Marzocchi, 2009, 2010) have shown that earthquake occurrences tend to have two main time features: a short-term clustering up to months-few years and a longer time modulation of decades (up to few centuries). Here we apply the DBM to the instrumental Japanese database, collected by the Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) (M ≥ 5.0). The purpose of this application is twofold. First, we check the existence of two time branchings previously found in other regions. Second, we provide forecasts to be evaluated by the Japanese CSEP (Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability) testing center.
Key words: Earthquake probability, forecasting, Japanese seismicity, stochastic process.