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The Potential Uses of Operational Earthquake Forecasting

Edward H. Field, Thomas H. Jordan, Lucile M. Jones, Andrew J. Michael, & Michael L. Blanpied

In Preparation October 29, 2015, SCEC Contribution #6029

Operational Earthquake Forecasting (OEF) involves the dissemination of authoritative information about time-dependent earthquake probabilities over time scales of hours to decades, with the goal of informing the decisions that people and organizations make to mitigate seismic risk (Jordan and Jones, 2010; Jordan et al., 2011; Marzocchi et al., 2015). In other words, OEF provides real-time forecasts to help communities prepare for earthquakes. The usefulness of OEF has been questioned in the literature (Peresan et al., 2012; Wang and Rogers, 2014), with a rebuttal provided by Jordan et al. (2014). This article contributes to that discussion by summarizing the findings of a two-day workshop held March 2015 at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Powell Center in Fort Collins, CO. The gathering involved discussions among a variety of potential users and model developers (Table 1) in an effort to identify potential uses of OEF, and to examine lessons learned from recent earthquakes and best practices regarding effective communication. Although the goal of the Powell-Center project is to deploy an actual OEF system for California, the discussions and developments are more widely applicable, including to areas of induced seismicity (e.g., Ellsworth, 2013).

Field, E. H., Jordan, T. H., Jones, L. M., Michael, A. J., & Blanpied, M. L. (2015). The Potential Uses of Operational Earthquake Forecasting. Seismological Research Letters, (in preparation).

Related Projects & Working Groups
Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities