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New Zealand Earthquake Forecast Testing Centre

Matthew C. Gerstenberger, & David A. Rhoades

Published 2010, SCEC Contribution #1240

The New Zealand Earthquake Forecast Testing Centre is being established as one of several similar regional testing centres under the umbrella of the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP). The Centre aims to encourage the development of testable models of time-varying earthquake occurrence in the New Zealand region, and to conduct verifiable prospective tests of their performance over a period of five or more years.<br/><br/>The test region, data-collection region and requirements for testing are described herein. Models must specify in advance the expected number of earthquakes with epicentral depths h ≤ 40 km in bins of time, magnitude and location within the test region. Short-term models will be tested using 24-hour time bins at magnitude M ≥ 4. Intermediate-term models and long-term models will be tested at M ≥ 5 using three-month and five-year bins, respectively. The tests applied will be the same as at other CSEP testing centres: the so-called N-test of the total number of earthquakes expected over the test period; the L-test of the likelihood of the earthquake catalogue under the model; and the R-test of the ratio of the likelihoods under alternative models.<br/><br/>Three long-term, two intermediate-term and two short-term models have so far been installed in the testing centre, with tests of these models commencing on the New Zealand earthquake catalogue from the beginning of 2008. Submission of models is open to researchers worldwide. New models can be submitted at any time.<br/><br/>The New Zealand testing centre makes extensive use of software produced by the CSEP testing centre in California. It is envisaged that, in time, the scope of the testing centre will be expanded to include new testing methods and differently-specified models, but that the New Zealand testing centre will develop in parallel with other regional testing centres through the CSEP international collaborative process.

Gerstenberger, M. C., & Rhoades, D. A. (2010). New Zealand Earthquake Forecast Testing Centre. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 167(8-9), 877-892. doi: 10.1007/s00024-010-0082-4.