Adaptively Smoothed Seismicity Earthquake Forecasts for Italy

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

Published 2010, SCEC Contribution #1437

We present a model for estimating the probabilities of future earthquakes of magnitudes m > 4.95 in Italy. The model, a slightly modified version of the one proposed for California by Helmstetter et al. (2007) and Werner et al. (2010a), approximates seismicity by 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 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 historical 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 trustworthy, we used small earthquakes m > 2.95 to illuminate active fault structures and likely future epicenters. By calibrating the model on two catalogs of different duration 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, scaled to five and ten years, were 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 over half of the five-year experiment over, the forecast performs better than its competitors.

Key Words
California, magnitude, predictability, stress, moment, 5-year, width

Werner, M. J., Helmstetter, A., Jackson, D. D., Kagan, Y. Y., & Wiemer, S. (2010). Adaptively Smoothed Seismicity Earthquake Forecasts for Italy. Annals of Geophysics, 53(3).