Progresses and challenges for Operational Earthquake Forecasting in Italy

Warner Marzocchi

Submitted July 28, 2017, SCEC Contribution #7350, 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting Talk on Mon 14:00

Tracking the time evolution of seismic hazard in time windows shorter than the usual 50-years of long-term hazard models may offer additional opportunities to reduce the seismic risk. This is the target of operational earthquake forecasting (OEF) as it has been defined by the International commission on earthquake forecasting (ICEF) appointed by the Italian Government after the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009. In this talk we describe the current OEF development in Italy – carried out by the seismic hazard center of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia – and the challenges that we met, some of them purely scientific and others related to the practical interface of science with society. As regards the implementation, we describe the liaison with the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP) activities, and the prospective forecasts made during the recent destructive Amatrice-Norcia sequence in 2016-2017, which has been characterized by several bursts of seismicity and a significant deviation from the Omori law. Specifically, we show that the current OEF system in Italy issued statistically reliable and skillful space-time-magnitude forecasts of the largest earthquakes of the sequence. Finally we discuss the challenges encountered and how we are handling them. In particular, we focus our attention on the non-scientific issues that range from the usefulness of OEF information, its importance in terms of seismic risk, and the difficulties in communicating low-probability/high-impact events like the occurrence of large earthquakes during a seismic sequence.

Key Words
Earthquake forecasting

Marzocchi, W. (2017, 07). Progresses and challenges for Operational Earthquake Forecasting in Italy. Oral Presentation at 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Earthquake Forecasting and Predictability (EFP)