Earthquake Likelihood Model Testing

Danijel Schorlemmer, Matthew C. Gerstenberger, Stefan Wiemer, David D. Jackson, & David A. Rhoades

Published 2007, SCEC Contribution #1035

The Regional Earthquake Likelihood Models (RELM) project aims to produce and evaluate alternate models of earthquake potential (probability per unit volume, magnitude, and time) for California. Based on differing assumptions, these models are produced to test the validity of their assumptions and to explore which models should be incorporated in seismic hazard and risk evaluation. Tests based on physical and geological criteria are useful but we focus on statistical methods using future earthquake catalog data only. We envision two evaluations: a test of consistency with observed data and a comparison of all pairs of models for relative consistency. Both tests are based on the likelihood method, and both are fully prospective (i.e., the models are not adjusted to fit the test data). To be tested, each model must assign a probability to any possible event within a specified region of space, time, and magnitude. For our tests the models must use a common format: earthquake rates in specified "bins" with location, magnitude, time, and focal mechanism limits.

Key Words
United States, California, maximum likelihood, models, geologic hazards, seismic risk, statistical analysis, earthquakes, risk assessment, probability, algorithms, simulation

Schorlemmer, D., Gerstenberger, M. C., Wiemer, S., Jackson, D. D., & Rhoades, D. A. (2007). Earthquake Likelihood Model Testing. Seismological Research Letters, 78(1), 17-29. doi: 10.1785/gssrl.78.1.17.