Reports

Statistical Short-Term Earthquake Prediction

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Science  19 Jun 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4808, pp. 1563-1567
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4808.1563

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Abstract

A statistical procedure, derived from a theoretical model of fracture growth, is used to identify a foreshock sequence while it is in progress. As a predictor, the procedure reduces the average uncertainty in the rate of occurrence for a future strong earthquake by a factor of more than 1000 when compared with the Poisson rate of occurrence. About one-third of all main shocks with local magnitude greater than or equal to 4.0 in central California can be predicted in this way, starting from a 7-year database that has a lower magnitude cut off of 1.5. The time scale of such predictions is of the order of a few hours to a few days for foreshocks in the magnitude range from 2.0 to 5.0.

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