Exciting news! We're transitioning to the Statewide California Earthquake Center. Our new website is under construction, but we'll continue using this website for SCEC business in the meantime. We're also archiving the Southern Center site to preserve its rich history. A new and improved platform is coming soon!

A Prototype Operational Earthquake Loss Model for California Based on UCERF3-ETAS – A First Look at Valuation

Edward Field, Keith Porter, & Kevin Milner

Published November 2017, SCEC Contribution #7279

We present a prototype operational loss model for California based on UCERF3-ETAS, which is the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast with an Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) component. As such, UCERF3-ETAS represents the first earthquake forecast to relax fault segmentation assumptions and to include multi-fault ruptures, elastic-rebound, and spatiotemporal clustering, all of which seem important for generating realistic and useful aftershock statistics. UCERF3-ETAS is nevertheless an approximation of the system, however, so usefulness will vary and potential value needs to be ascertained in the context of each application. We examine this question with respect to statewide loss estimates, exemplifying how risk can be elevated by orders of magnitude due to triggered events following various scenario earthquakes. Two important considerations are the probability gains, relative to loss likelihoods in the absence of main shocks, and the rapid decay of gains with time. Significant uncertainties and model limitations remain, so we hope this paper will inspire similar analyses with respect to other risk metrics to help ascertain whether operationalization of UCERF3-ETAS would be worth the considerable resources required.

Field, E., Porter, K., & Milner, K. (2017). A Prototype Operational Earthquake Loss Model for California Based on UCERF3-ETAS – A First Look at Valuation. Earthquake Spectra, 33(4), 1279-1299. doi: 10.1193/011817EQS017M.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (WGCEP)