A new development has occurred in seismology. This is a new machine learning approach that can help to predict where aftershocks, following an earthquake, are likely to occur. Aftershocks can often be of the same severity as the original earthquake.
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The new approach to assessing earthquake impacts involves the application of machines to help to determine where aftershocks may occur. It is hoped that the new technique will help to advance knowledge of earthquake behaviour, allowing planners to implemented emergency measures.

Currently forecasting the spatial distribution of aftershocks is challenging. Large earthquakes (the 'mainshock') are often followed by thousands of aftershocks. Some of these are, in terms of the damage they cause, indistinguishable from other earthquakes. Aftershocks occur by the same mechanism as earthquakes across the same geological faults.

Most of the aftershocks occur within the first hour or day after the main shock.The need to study aftershocks to address safety concerns is captured by one of the researchers, Dr. Brendan Meade, from Harvard University, who states: “If you think about making forecasts of earthquakes, you want to do three things; you want to predict when they're going to be, you want to say something about how large they're going to be and about where they're going to be.”


The new technology is a deep-learning approach designed to identify a criterion that could forecast aftershock locations without any prior assumptions about the orientation of the fault.

This was developed by training a neural network using some 131,000 mainshock–aftershock pairs. These were used to predict the locations of aftershocks, with the researchers trying to predict patterns in other earthquakes that the artificial intelligence would not have previously seen. This analysis showed that a typical aftershock pattern is physically interpretable.

The way artificial intelligence application worked was instead of inputting data in relation to a main earthquake through a set of calculations (as currently happens), the neural network used processing power to move through multiple possible pathways in order to make predictions.



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Cascadia Subduction Zone

The Cascadia Subduction Zone has not produced an earthquake since 1700 and is building up pressure where the Juan de Fuca Plate is subsiding underneath the North American plate. Currently, scientists are predicting that there is about a 40 percent chance that a megathrust earthquake of 9.0+ magnitude in this fault zone will occur in the next 50 years. This ;">
With the current preparedness levels of Oregon, we can anticipate being without services and assistance for at least 2 weeks, if not longer, when the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake occurs. While this will be difficult to overcome, our citizens, businesses, schools, government, and communities as a whole can take steps to get prepared. Take action now by actively planning and preparing yourself and your community to be readiv>
Preparedness Information and Resources Link
(learn More)
  • Two Weeks Ready
  • Earthquake Safety Information
  • Tsunami Safety Information
  • Living on Shaky Ground (English) (Spanish)
  • Without Warning Earthquake
  • Without Warning Tsunami (English) (Spanish)
  • Oregon Seismic Safety
  • Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC)
  • Oregon Resilience Plan
  • Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW)
  • Cascadia Island Mapping
He adds further: “What we wanted to do is to tackle the last leg of this problem - that is where aftershocks are going to be."
Essential Science: AI technology for earthquake detection
By TIM SANDLE, SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 IN  Essential science
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