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Optimizing Earthquake Nowcasting with Machine Learning: The Role of Strain Hardening in the Earthquake Cycle
  • +4
  • John B. Rundle,
  • Joe Yazbeck,
  • Andrea Donnellan,
  • Lisa Grant Ludwig,
  • Geoffrey Fox,
  • Michael B. Heflin,
  • James P Crutchfield
John B. Rundle
University of California - Davis, University of California - Davis, University of California - Davis, University of California - Davis, University of California - Davis, University of California - Davis, University of California - Davis

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Joe Yazbeck
University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California
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Andrea Donnellan
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology & University of Southern California
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Lisa Grant Ludwig
University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine, University of California, Irvine
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Geoffrey Fox
University of Virginia, University of Virginia, University of Virginia, University of Virginia, University of Virginia, University of Virginia, University of Virginia
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Michael B. Heflin
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALTECH
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James P Crutchfield
University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California, University of California
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Abstract

Nowcasting is a term originating from economics, finance and meteorology. It refers to the process of determining the uncertain state of the economy, markets or the weather at the current time by indirect means. In this paper we describe a simple 2-parameter data analysis that reveals hidden order in otherwise seemingly chaotic earthquake seismicity. One of these parameters relates to a mechanism of seismic quiescence arising from the physics of strain-hardening of the crust prior to major events. We observe an earthquake cycle associated with major earthquakes in California, similar to what has long been postulated. An estimate of the earthquake hazard revealed by this state variable timeseries can be can be optimized by the use of machine learning in the form of the Receiver Operating Characteristic skill score. The ROC skill is used here as a loss function in a supervised learning mode. Our analysis is conducted in the region of 5o x 5o in latitude-longitude centered on Los Angeles, a region which we used in previous papers to build similar timeseries using more involved methods (Rundle and Donnellan, 2020; Rundle et al., 2021). Here we show that not only does the state variable timeseries have forecast skill, the associated spatial probability densities have skill as well. In addition, use of the standard ROC and Precision (PPV) metrics allow probabilities of current earthquake hazard to be defined in a simple, straightforward and rigorous way.