One important focus of RISE is to advance earthquake predictability research such as Operational Earthquake Forecasting. This research can benefit from the constantly evolving observational capabilities of seismic monitoring efforts, which, for instance, result in an ever-increasing amount of recorded earthquakes, especially toward smaller magnitudes. Such capabilities need to be exploited to gain more insight into the earthquake occurrence processes and, therefore, to improve earthquake forecasting.
In our first step, we explore existing high-resolution earthquake catalogues that contain events with magnitudes down to ML0 or below. We started to develop an interactive tool that will facilitate and aid us in a more intuitive analysis of seismicity in five dimensions (see Figure).
In particular, we will focus on these aspects:
- Spatio-temporal variability in the frequency-magnitude distribution: e.g., statistical analyses of event sizes could tell us more about the state of a fault system.
- Earthquake clustering properties: e.g., well-located hypocenters could reveal how earthquake sequences progress and how earthquakes are triggered.
- Foreshock analysis: e.g., earthquakes prior to a larger earthquake might share a common spatial-temporal pattern. In addition, high-resolution catalogues could potentially reveal many more sequences that have foreshocks than is currently believed.
- Limits of the current quality of earthquakes catalogs, e.g., what information are we missing?
We will adopt state-of-the-art methods (e.g., from the machine learning domain) to augment these analyses, for instance, to employ a parameter selection and search for signals and patterns that are indicative of the earthquake occurrence process.
Our findings will have an impact on improving our understanding of the earthquake occurrence process. Our gained knowledge could allow us to develop innovative earthquake forecasting models, which can be stochastic, physics-based and/or of a hybrid type. Ultimately, our advances will contribute to mitigating better the seismic risk, which will be analysed within another work package of RISE.