Science and Engineering

University of Southern California / Southern California Earthquake Center

Tom Jordan
Los Angeles, CA
$2,000,000
June 2015

This project will construct a Collaboratory for Interseismic Simulation and Modeling (CISM) that will allow scientists to forge physics-based models into comprehensive earthquake forecasts using California as its primary test bed.  Recent earthquake disasters in Italy, Japan, and New Zealand demonstrate why short-term forecasts of seismic sequences, in combination with consistent long-term forecasts, are critical for reducing risks and enhancing preparedness.  CISM will improve predictability by combining rupture simulators that account for the physics of rupture nucleation and stress transfer with ground-motion simulators that account for wave excitation and propagation.  CISM forecasting models will be tested against observed earthquake behaviors within the existing Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability, and they will be contributed to the USGS’s new program of operational earthquake forecasting in California.  Practical outcomes will be “seismic weather reports” that contain authoritative information about the short-term probability of potentially damaging earthquakes, as well as long-term models that better represent the current state of the California fault system.  WMKF Fellowships in Earthquake Forecasting Research will provide early-career scientists with unique positions to master the most advanced forecasting models and creatively use them in their own research.

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