Results of the Regional Earthquake Likelihood Models (RELM) test of earthquake forecasts in California

Ya Ting Lee, Donald L. Turcotte, James R. Holliday, Michael K. Sachs, John B. Rundle, Chien Chih Chen, Kristy F. Tiampo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Regional Earthquake Likelihood Models (RELM) test of earthquake forecasts in California was the first competitive evaluation of forecasts of future earthquake occurrence. Participants submitted expected probabilities of occurrence of M ≥ 4.95 earthquakes in 0.1° x 0.1° cells for the period 1 January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2010. Probabilities were submitted for 7,682 cells in California and adjacent regions. During this period, 31 M ≥ 4.95 earthquakes occurred in the test region. These earthquakes occurred in 22 test cells. This seismic activity was dominated by earthquakes associated with the M = 7.2, April 4, 2010, El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake in northern Mexico. This earthquake occurred in the test region, and 16 of the other 30 earthquakes in the test region could be associated with it. Nine complete forecasts were submitted by six participants. In this paper, we present the forecasts in a way that allows the reader to evaluate which forecast is the most "successful" in terms of the locations of future earthquakes. We conclude that the RELM test was a success and suggest ways in which the results can be used to improve future forecasts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16533-16538
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume108
Issue number40
DOIs
StatePublished - 4 Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Earthquake clustering
  • Earthquake forecasting
  • Forecast verification

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