Emergent Mind

Published Jan 11, 2024
in
physics.geo-ph

Aftershocks of aftershocks - and their aftershock cascades - substantially contribute to the increased seismicity rate and the associated elevated seismic hazard after the occurrence of a large earthquake. Current state-of-the-art earthquake forecasting models therefore describe earthquake occurrence using self-exciting point processes, where events can recursively trigger more events according to empirical laws. To estimate earthquake probabilities within future time horizons of interest, a large number of possible realizations of a process are simulated, which is typically associated with long computation times that increase with the desired resolution of the forecast in space, time, or magnitude range. We here propose a machine learning approach to estimate the temporal evolution of the rate of higher-order aftershocks. For this, we train a deep neural network to predict the output of the simulation-based approach, given a parametric description of the rate of direct aftershocks. A comparison of the two approaches reveals that they perform very similarly in describing synthetic datasets generated with the simulation-based approach. Our method has two major benefits over the traditional approach. It is faster by several orders of magnitude, and it is not susceptible to being influenced by the presence or absence of individual `extreme' realizations of the process, and thus enables accurate earthquake forecasting in near-real-time.

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