Hidden-state modeling of a cross-section of geoelectric time series data can provide reliable intermediate-term probabilistic earthquake forecasting in Taiwan

Haoyu Wen, Hong Jia Chen, Chien Chih Chen, Massimo Pica Ciamarra, Siew Ann Cheong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Geoelectric time series (TS) have long been studied for their potential for probabilistic earthquake forecasting, and a recent model (GEMSTIP) directly used the skewness and kurtosis of geoelectric TS to provide times of increased probability (TIPs) for earthquakes for several months in the future. We followed up on this work by applying the hidden Markov model (HMM) to the correlation, variance, skewness, and kurtosis TSs to identify two hidden states (HSs) with different distributions of these statistical indexes. More importantly, we tested whether these HSs could separate time periods into times of higher/lower earthquake probabilities. Using 0.5ĝ€¯Hz geoelectric TS data from 20 stations across Taiwan over 7 years, we first computed the statistical index TSs and then applied the Baum-Welch algorithm with multiple random initializations to obtain a well-converged HMM and its HS TS for each station. We then divided the map of Taiwan into a 16-by-16 grid map and quantified the forecasting skill, i.e., how well the HS TS could separate times of higher/lower earthquake probabilities in each cell in terms of a discrimination power measure that we defined. Next, we compare the discrimination power of empirical HS TSs against those of 400 simulated HS TSs and then organized the statistical significance values from this cellular-level hypothesis testing of the forecasting skill obtained into grid maps of discrimination reliability. Having found such significance values to be high for many grid cells for all stations, we proceeded with a statistical hypothesis test of the forecasting skill at the global level to find high statistical significance across large parts of the hyperparameter spaces of most stations. We therefore concluded that geoelectric TSs indeed contain earthquake-related information and the HMM approach is capable of extracting this information for earthquake forecasting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1931-1954
Number of pages24
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 9 Jun 2022

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