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Earthquake Prediction: An Overview

Kanamori, Hiroo (2003) Earthquake Prediction: An Overview. In: International Handbook of Earthquake and Engineering Seismology. International geophysics series. No.81B. Academic Press , San Diego, CA, pp. 1205-1216. ISBN 978-0-12-440658-2.

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This chapter focuses on prediction of earthquakes. Because earthquakes occur suddenly, often with devastating consequences, earthquake prediction is a matter of great interest among the public and emergency service officials. The term “earthquake prediction” is often used to mean two different things. In the common usage, especially among the public, “earthquake prediction” means a highly reliable, publicly announced, short-term (within hours to weeks) prediction that will prompt some emergency measures (e.g., alert, evacuation, etc.). Exactly how reliable this type of prediction should be depends on the social and economic situations of the region involved. The issue is whether the quality of prediction is good enough to benefit the society in question. The chapter lists six attributes required for this type of prediction: (1) It must specify a time window. (2) It must specify a space window. (3) It must specify a magnitude window. (4) It must give some sort of indication of the author's confidence in the reliability of the prediction. (5) It must give some sort of indication of the chances of the earthquake occurring anyway, as a random event. (6) It must be written and presented in some accessible form so that data on failures are as easily obtained as data on success. Earthquake prediction means a statement regarding the future seismic activity in a region, and the requirement for high reliability is somewhat relaxed in this usage. Despite the progress made in understanding the physics of earthquakes, the predictions of earthquake activity made today are inevitably very uncertain, mainly because of the highly complex nature of earthquake process.

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Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Additional Information:© 2003 International Assoc. Seismol. & Phys. Earth's Interior, Committee on Education. Available online 28 August 2007. I thank Paul Spudich, Evelyn Roeloffs, Max Wyss, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Series Name:International geophysics series
Issue or Number:81B
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141112-082813945
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Official Citation:Hiroo Kanamori, 72 Earthquake prediction: An overview, In: William H.K. Lee, Hiroo Kanamori, Paul C. Jennings and Carl Kisslinger, Editor(s), International Geophysics, Academic Press, 2003, Volume 81, Part B, Pages 1205-1216, ISSN 0074-6142, ISBN 9780124406582, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51628
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:12 Nov 2014 16:50
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:13

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