Highlights from the first ten years of the New Zealand earthquake forecast testing center

David A. Rhoades, Annemarie Christophersen, Matthew C. Gerstenberger, Maria Liukis, Fabio Silva, Warner Marzocchi, Maximilian J. Werner, Thomas H. Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
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We present highlights from the first decade of operation of the New Zealand Earthquake Forecast Testing Center of the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP). Most results are based on reprocessing using the best available catalog, because the testing center did not consistently capture the complete real-time catalog. Tests of models with daily updating show that aftershock models incorporating Omori- Utsu decay can outperform long-term smoothed seismicity models with probability gains up to 1000 during major aftershock sequences. Tests of models with 3-month updating show that several models with every earthquake a precursor according to scale (EEPAS) model, incorporating the precursory scale increase phenomenon and without Omori-Utsu decay, and the double-branching model, with both Omori-Utsu and exponential decay in time, outperformed a regularly updated smoothed seismicity model. In tests of 5-yr models over 10 yrs without updating, a smoothed seismicity model outperformed the earthquake source model of the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model. The performance of 3-month and 5-yr models was strongly affected by the Canterbury earthquake sequence, which occurred in a region of previously low seismicity. Smoothed seismicity models were shown to perform better with more frequent updating. CSEP models were a useful resource for the development of hybrid time-varying models for practical forecasting after major earthquakes in the Canterbury and Kaikoura regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1237
Number of pages9
JournalSeismological Research Letters
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • earthquakes
  • seismology
  • earthquake forecasting and testing
  • probabilistic forecasting


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