Major Projects &
Earthquake Forecasting and Predictability (EFP)
In general we seek proposals that will increase our understanding of how earthquakes might be forecast and whether or not earthquakes are predictable (A6). Proposals of any type that can assist in this goal will be considered, with the provision that they focus on seismicity and deformation data. We are especially interested in proposals that will utilize the new Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP).
For research strategies that plan to utilize CSEP, see the description of CSEP under Special Projects to learn of its capabilities. Successful investigators proposing to utilize CSEP would be funded via core SCEC funds to adapt their prediction methodologies to the CSEP framework, to transfer codes to the externally accessible CSEP computers, and to be sure they function there as intended (A6). Subsequently, the codes would be moved to the identical externally inaccessible CSEP computers by CSEP staff who will conduct tests against a variety of data as outlined in the CSEP description. In general, methodologies will be considered successful only if they do better than null hypotheses that include both time-independent and time-dependent probabilities. Proposals aimed toward developing useful measurement/testing methodology that could be incorporated in the CSEP evaluations are welcomed.
Proposals are also welcome that assist in attaining the goals of these two Special Projects: WGCEP (the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities) and SoSAFE (the Southern San Andreas Evaluation), especially if the proposals focus on understanding some physical basis for connections between earthquakes.
Proposals that can lead to understanding whether or not there exists a physical basis for earthquake predictability (A6) are welcome, even if they are not aimed toward, or are not ready for, tests in CSEP, or are not aimed toward assisting WGCEP or SoSAFE. For example, proposals could include ones that connect to objectives A1, A2, A3, A5, A9, A10 and A11, as well as ones focused on understanding patterns of seismicity in time and space, as long as they are aimed toward understanding the physical basis of some aspect of extended earthquake predictability (A6).
Long Term Research Goals
Problem Statement. The problems considered by SCEC3 in this important area of research will primarily concern the physical basis for earthquake predictability. Forecasting earthquakes in the long term at low probability rates and densities—the most difficult scientific problem in seismic hazard analysis—is closely related to the more controversial problem of high-likelihood predictions on short (hours to weeks) and intermediate (months to years) time scales. Both require a probabilistic characterization in terms of space, time, and magnitude; both depend on the state of the fault system (conditional on its history) at the time of the forecast/prediction; and, to put them on a proper science footing, both need to be based in earthquake physics.
Goal and Objectives. The SCEC3 goal is to improve earthquake forecasts by understanding the physical basis for earthquake predictability. Specific objectives are to:
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