TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 63 (No. 3), pp. 207-216, 2011

Next-day earthquake forecasts for the Japan region generated by the ETAS model

Jiancang Zhuang

Institute of Statistical Mathematics, 10-3 Midori-Cho, Tachikawa, Tokyo 190-8562, Japan

(Received April 30, 2010; Revised December 22, 2010; Accepted December 24, 2010; Online published March 4, 2011)

Abstract: This paper gives the technical solutions of implementing the space-time epidemic-type aftershock sequence (ETAS) model for short-term (1-day) earthquake forecasts for the all-Japan region in the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP) project in Japan. For illustration, a retrospective forecasting experiment is carried out to forecast the seismicity in the Japan region before and after the Tokachi-Oki earthquake (M 8.0) at 19:50:07 (UTC) on 25 September 2003, in the format of contour images. The optimal model parameters used for the forecasts are estimated by fitting the model to the observation records up to the starting time of the forecasting period, and the probabilities of earthquake occurrences are obtained through simulations. To tackle the difficulty of heavy computations in fitting a complicated point-process to a huge dataset, an "off-line optimization" and "online forecasting" scheme is proposed to keep both the estimates of model parameters and forecasts updated according to the most recent observations. The results show that the forecasts have captured the spatial distribution and temporal evolution of the features of future seismicity. These forecasts are tested against the reference Poisson model that is stationary in time but spatially inhomogeneous.
Key words: ETAS model, probability forecast, point process, random simulation, information score.

Corresponding author E-mail: zhuangjc@ism.ac.jp

[Full text] (PDF 2.8 MB)