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Earthquake warning system

Earthquake early warningearly warning systemearthquake early warning system
Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits, and particularly "the determination of parameters for the next strong earthquake to occur in a region. Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades. Prediction can be further distinguished from earthquake warning systems, which upon detection of an earthquake, provide a real-time warning of seconds to neighboring regions that might be affected.
This is not the same as earthquake prediction, which is currently incapable of producing decisive event warnings.

Earthquake forecasting

Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits, and particularly "the determination of parameters for the next strong earthquake to occur in a region. Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades. Prediction can be further distinguished from earthquake warning systems, which upon detection of an earthquake, provide a real-time warning of seconds to neighboring regions that might be affected.
While forecasting is usually considered to be a type of prediction, earthquake forecasting is often differentiated from earthquake prediction, whose goal is the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes with sufficient precision that a warning can be issued.

VAN method

Seismic Electric Signals
The most touted, and most criticized, claim of an electromagnetic precursor is the VAN method of physics professors Panayiotis Varotsos, Kessar Alexopoulos and Konstantine Nomicos (VAN) of the University of Athens.
The VAN method – named after P. Varotsos, K. Alexopoulos and K. Nomicos, authors of the 1981 papers describing it – measures low frequency electric signals, termed "seismic electric signals" (SES), by which Varotsos and several colleagues claimed to have successfully predicted earthquakes in Greece.

Seismology

seismicseismologistseismologists
Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits, and particularly "the determination of parameters for the next strong earthquake to occur in a region. Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades. Prediction can be further distinguished from earthquake warning systems, which upon detection of an earthquake, provide a real-time warning of seconds to neighboring regions that might be affected.
Forecasting a probable timing, location, magnitude and other important features of a forthcoming seismic event is called earthquake prediction.

Earthquake

earthquakesseismic activityseismic
Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits, and particularly "the determination of parameters for the next strong earthquake to occur in a region. Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades. Prediction can be further distinguished from earthquake warning systems, which upon detection of an earthquake, provide a real-time warning of seconds to neighboring regions that might be affected.
Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits.

2009 L'Aquila earthquake

earthquakeL'Aquila earthquakeearthquake in 2009
. Following the L'Aquila earthquake of 2009, seven scientists and technicians in Italy were convicted of manslaughter, but not so much for failing to predict the 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake (where some 300 people died) as for giving undue assurance to the populace – one victim called it "anaesthetizing" – that there would not be a serious earthquake, and therefore no need to take precautions.
Italian laboratory technician Giampaolo Giuliani claimed to have predicted a major earthquake on Italian television a month before, after measuring increased levels of radon emitted from the ground.

Radon

radon gasRnNiton (element)
One of these gases is radon, produced by radioactive decay of the trace amounts of uranium present in most rock.
Some researchers have investigated changes in groundwater radon concentrations for earthquake prediction.

Parkfield earthquake

20042004 Parkfield earthquake2004 Parkfield-San Bernardino earthquake
The "Parkfield earthquake prediction experiment" was the most heralded scientific earthquake prediction ever.
This was known as the Parkfield Earthquake Prediction and the Parkfield Earthquake Experiment, conducted by the USGS.

California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council

CEPEC
In evaluating this prediction the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council (CEPEC) noted that this method had not yet made enough predictions for statistical validation, and was sensitive to input assumptions.
The California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council (CEPEC) is a committee of earthquake experts that reviews potentially credible earthquake predictions and forecasts.

Vladimir Keilis-Borok

V.I. Keilis-BorokKeilis-BorokKeilis-Borok, Vladimir
Probably the most widely known is the M8 family of algorithms (including the RTP method) developed under the leadership of Vladimir Keilis-Borok.
His team of researchers have used new algorithmic methods for earthquake prediction.

1975 Haicheng earthquake

Haicheng earthquake
The M 7.3 1975 Haicheng earthquake is the most widely cited "success" of earthquake prediction.

Iben Browning

Dr. Iben Browning
Iben Browning claimed to have predicted the Loma Prieta event, but (as will be seen in the next section) this claim has been rejected.
Browning received notoriety for his erroneous prediction that a major earthquake would occur on the New Madrid Fault around December 2 and 3, 1990.

Seismic magnitude scales

magnitudeseismic scalebody wave magnitude
Earthquake prediction is a branch of the science of seismology concerned with the specification of the time, location, and magnitude of future earthquakes within stated limits, and particularly "the determination of parameters for the next strong earthquake to occur in a region. Earthquake prediction is sometimes distinguished from earthquake forecasting, which can be defined as the probabilistic assessment of general earthquake hazard, including the frequency and magnitude of damaging earthquakes in a given area over years or decades. Prediction can be further distinguished from earthquake warning systems, which upon detection of an earthquake, provide a real-time warning of seconds to neighboring regions that might be affected.

Statistical hypothesis testing

hypothesis testingstatistical teststatistical tests
Therefore, methods of statistical hypothesis testing are used to determine the probability that an earthquake such as is predicted would happen anyway (the null hypothesis).

Null hypothesis

nullnull hypotheseshypothesis
Therefore, methods of statistical hypothesis testing are used to determine the probability that an earthquake such as is predicted would happen anyway (the null hypothesis).

Poisson point process

Poisson processPoissonPoisson processes
While such statistics are not satisfactory for purposes of prediction (giving ten to twenty false alarms for each successful prediction) they will skew the results of any analysis that assumes that earthquakes occur randomly in time, for example, as realized from a Poisson process.

Aeronomy

upper atmospherethe Earth's atmosphereupper-atmospheric research
There have been around 400 reports of possible precursors in scientific literature, of roughly twenty different types, running the gamut from aeronomy to zoology.

P-wave

pressure waveP-wavesP
In cases where animals display unusual behavior some tens of seconds prior to a quake, it has been suggested they are responding to the P-wave.

S-wave

shear waveS-wavesshear
These travel through the ground about twice as fast as the S-waves that cause most severe shaking.

Flashbulb memory

flashbulb memorieslasting impressionflash bulb memories
Another confounding factor of accounts of unusual phenomena is skewing due to "flashbulb memories": otherwise unremarkable details become more memorable and more significant when associated with an emotionally powerful event such as an earthquake.

Michelson–Morley experiment

Michelson-Morley experimentMichelson-MorleyMichelson–Morley
Other studies have shown dilatancy to be so negligible that concluded: "The concept of a large-scale 'preparation zone' indicating the likely magnitude of a future event, remains as ethereal as the ether that went undetected in the Michelson–Morley experiment."

Blue Mountain Lake (New York)

Blue Mountain Lake
Study of this phenomenon near Blue Mountain Lake in New York State led to a successful albeit informal prediction in 1973, and it was credited for predicting the 1974 Riverside (CA) quake.

New York (state)

New YorkNew York StateNY
Study of this phenomenon near Blue Mountain Lake in New York State led to a successful albeit informal prediction in 1973, and it was credited for predicting the 1974 Riverside (CA) quake.

Half-life

half-liveshalf lifehalf lives
Radon is useful as a potential earthquake predictor because it is radioactive and thus easily detected, and its short half-life (3.8 days) makes radon levels sensitive to short-term fluctuations.

1755 Lisbon earthquake

Lisbon earthquake1755 earthquakeearthquake of 1755
Observations of electromagnetic disturbances and their attribution to the earthquake failure process go back as far as the Great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, but practically all such observations prior to the mid-1960s are invalid because the instruments used were sensitive to physical movement.