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Initiation process of earthquakes and its implications for seismic hazard reduction strategy

Kanamori, Hiroo (1996) Initiation process of earthquakes and its implications for seismic hazard reduction strategy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 93 (9). pp. 3726-3731. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC39429. doi:10.1073/pnas.93.9.3726.

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For the average citizen and the public, "earthquake prediction" means "short-term prediction," a prediction of a specific earthquake on a relatively short time scale. Such prediction must specify the time, place, and magnitude of the earthquake in question with sufficiently high reliability. For this type of prediction, one must rely on some short-term precursors. Examinations of strain changes just before large earthquakes suggest that consistent detection of such precursory strain changes cannot be expected. Other precursory phenomena such as foreshocks and nonseismological anomalies do not occur consistently either. Thus, reliable short-term prediction would be very difficult. Although short-term predictions with large uncertainties could be useful for some areas if their social and economic environments can tolerate false alarms, such predictions would be impractical for most modern industrialized cities. A strategy for effective seismic hazard reduction is to take full advantage of the recent technical advancements in seismology, computers, and communication. In highly industrialized communities, rapid earthquake information is critically important for emergency services agencies, utilities, communications, financial companies, and media to make quick reports and damage estimates and to determine where emergency response is most needed. Long-term forecast, or prognosis, of earthquakes is important for development of realistic building codes, retrofitting existing structures, and land-use planning, but the distinction between short-term and long-term predictions needs to be clearly communicated to the public to avoid misunderstanding.

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Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Additional Information:© 1996 National Academy of Sciences. This paper was presented at a colloquium entitled "Earthquake Prediction: The Scientific Challenge," organized by Leon Knopoff (Chair), Keiiti Aki, Clarence R. Allen, James R. Rice, and Lynn R. Sykes, held February 10 and 11, 1995, at the National Academy of Sciences in Irvine, CA. This research was partially supported by U.S. Geological Survey Grant 1434-95-G-2554. This is Contribution 5555, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences5555
Issue or Number:9
PubMed Central ID:PMC39429
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Official Citation:H Kanamori Initiation process of earthquakes and its implications for seismic hazard reduction strategy PNAS 1996 93 (9) 3726-3731
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51574
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Nov 2014 19:42
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:12

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