Review of Operational Earthquake Forecasting Capabilities

Monday, April 3, 2017 - Thursday, April 6, 2017
USGS Powell Center, Fort Collins, CO


The ongoing WGCEP has developed and published a full OEF model for California, known as UCERF3-ETAS.  At the same time progress has been made with respect improving the relatively simple aftershock notifications issued by the USGS for other parts of the world.  This meeting will involve a comprehensive review of these capabilities, including examination of the scientific underpinnings as well as the potential usefulness.  With respect to the latter, several potential early adopters will be in attendance in order to articulate potential use cases and their perceived value.  Given the significant resources needed for further operationalization, the goal of this meeting is to provide guidance to the USGS on what level of effort should be put into developing these capabilities.

Questions for Reviewers:

  1. Should the USGS replace Reasenberg-Jones models with ETAS models to quantify aftershock probabilities? 

  2. Should the USGS use the fault-based UCERF3-ETAS model in quantifying short-term earthquake probabilities in California?

  3. What type of testing is necessary and sufficient to qualify a short-term earthquake forecast model for general operational use or use in specific applications?

  4. Given the state of earthquake science and the potential utility of short-term forecasting, what level of effort should the USGS put into OEF?


Questions for Potential Users:

  1. What hazard or risk metrics (e.g., Table 1) you are concerned about?

  2. What gains (increase relative to long-term risk) would you find actionable?

  3. What timeframes are you interested in (because gains decay with time)?

  4. Can you put a value on this information to you and/or your clients?



Table 1. List of various OEF hazard and risk products.


UCERF3-ETAS Documents

Reviewers those having any one of the following roles specified in the list of participants: NEPEC, CEPEC, SESAC, or Observer.


DAY 1 (4/3/17) – Best Available Science for OEF 

7:00 – 8:00 am Breakfast 

8:00 – 10:00 am Session: 

Powell Center Welcome and Logistics –  Jill Baron and Leah Colasuonno,  10 min 

Workshop Goals & Self-Introductions –  Ned Field; 20 min 

Current Issues with OEF –  Tom Jordan; 15 min 

Brief history of OEF at the USGS and Near-Term Goals –  Jeanne Hardebeck; 15 Min 

The Case for ETAS –  Andy Michael; 15 Min 

10:00 – 10:10 am Break 

10:10 – 12:00 noon Session: 

Progress on ETAS Implementation and Products –  Nicholas van der Elst; 20 min 

Applicability of ETAS to Swarms & Induced Seismicity –  Andrea Llenos; 15 min 

UCERF3-ETAS –  Ned Field; 20 min 

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch: 

1:00 – 3:00 pm Session: 

UCERF3-ETAS Continued –  Ned Field; 40 min 

Testing UCERF3-ETAS –  Morgan Page; 30 min 

3:00 – 3:10 pm Break 

3:00 – 5:00 pm Session: 

Can Physics-Based Simulators Help? –  Bruce Shaw; 15 min 

Discussion oNecessary and Sufficient Tests for OEF Models – Led by Max Werner; 60 min 

General Discussion; 45 min 


DAY 2 (4/4/17) – OEF Use Cases and Valuation 

7:00 – 8:00 am Breakfast 

8:00 – 12:00 am Session (with Break around 10 am): 

Introduction (& Examples Via U3ETAS-Impled Statewide Losses) –  Ned Field; 20 min 

Experiences in Italy –  Warner Marzocchi; 20 min 

Experiences in New Zealand –  Matt Gerstenberger & Anne Wein; 25 min 

NEPEC and CEPEC Procedures in Light of OEF Developments – Mike Blanpied and John Parrish; 20 min 

CalOES Perspective –  Kate Long; 15 min 

FEMA Perspective –  Jesse Rozelle; 15 min 

Post-Earthquake Building Tagging –  Nico Luco; 15 min 

Bank and Utility Perspective –  Keith Porter; 15 min 

PG&E (Utility) Perspective –  Katie Wooddell; 15 min 

Caltrans Perspective –  Loren Turner; 15 min 

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch: 

1:00 – 5:00 pm Session (with Break around 3 pm): 

California Earthquake Authority (Insurance) Perspective –  Shawna Ackerman; 15 min 

Commercial Loss Modeling Perspective –  Ken Campbell; 15 min 

Commercial Loss Modeling Perspective –  Nilesh Shome; 15 min 

OEF in the Insurance Community –  Guillermo Franco (presented by Nilesh Shome); 15 min 

Capital Market Example of OEF–  Jaesung Park (presented by Nilesh Shome); 15 min 

One Concern ( Perspective –  Abhineet Gupta; 15 min 

Use of Induced Seismicity Models –  Mark Petersen; 15 min 

East Bay Municipal Utility District –  Andrea Chen (presented by Anne Wein); 15 min 

General Discussion; time remaining