Comments on: New algorithm holds promise for earthquake prediction http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2010/01/31/new-algorithm-holds-promise-for-earthquake-prediction/ Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:37:11 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: Steve Numero Uno http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2010/01/31/new-algorithm-holds-promise-for-earthquake-prediction/comment-page-1/#comment-9722 Thu, 04 Feb 2010 16:34:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=5433#comment-9722 Professor Vuik: I would agree that efficient computational methods are needed when sufficient physical understanding of earthquake processes is available. Unfortunately such understanding does not yet exist even with respect to the subject region of your study, the North Anatolian Fault. Consider the following comment in this regard from last week’s issue of EOS (reference below):

“Because of concerns for their earthquakes, continental transforms – particularly California’s San Andreas Fault and Turkey’s North Anatolian fault – have been intensely studied. Nonetheless, the link between the largest and most dangerous earthquakes and fault segments along transforms remains elusive. A better understanding of the structural singularities bounding these segments…may clarify why some of them stop earthquake ruptures while others do not.”

The work of you and your colleagues with respect to computational methods is helpful. But we must make clear to others that progress in earthquake prediction depends on better physical understanding of earthquake processes.

Reference: Seeber, L., C. Sorlien, M. Steckler and M.-H. Cormier, 2010, Continental Transform Basins: Why Are They Asymmetric?, EOS (Transactions, American Geophysical Union), Vol. 91, Number 4, 26Jan2010, pp 29-30.

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By: Kees Vuik http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2010/01/31/new-algorithm-holds-promise-for-earthquake-prediction/comment-page-1/#comment-9707 Wed, 03 Feb 2010 15:34:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=5433#comment-9707 This is a reaction on the comment of Steve Numero Uno.

I partly agree with the comment that prediction is limited by lack of knowledge of the fundamental physical processes. It appears that earthquake prediction needs information from experiments/measurements, theory/modelling and scientific computing. The proposed method enables us to compute much larger problems than before, so limitations with respect to scientific computing are pushed further away. This implies that limitations due to experiments and theory become more urgent now.

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By: Steve Numero Uno http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/2010/01/31/new-algorithm-holds-promise-for-earthquake-prediction/comment-page-1/#comment-9656 Sun, 31 Jan 2010 23:52:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate-uk/?p=5433#comment-9656 The authors suggest that earthquake prediction suffers mainly from inadequate computational power for modeling. However many seismologists feel that prediction is limited by lack of knowledge of the fundamental physical processes that take place within fault systems and drive the earthquake processes. Consider the following report from the Fifth International Workshop on Statistical Seismology, Erice, Sicily, Italy, 31 May to 6 June 2007 (ref: EOS, vol. 88, issue 30, 24July2007, p 302):

“However, because our understanding of the fundamental physical processes that take place within fault systems and drive the earthquake processes is poor (e.g., what is the appropriate frictional behavior of faults? are the tectonic stresses high or low? how are earthquakes triggered? what is the role of fluids? how do earthquakes start or stop?), physics-based earthquake forecast models are currently generally outperformed by purely data driven, statistical models, and even those models remain rather limited in their predictive power”.

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