Keynote-Earthquake Precursors (Indicators): A Review on the Earthquake Forecasting/Prediction Studies from Past to Present

Keynote-Earthquake Precursors (Indicators): A Review on the Earthquake Forecasting/Prediction Studies from Past to Present

Phenomenological Aspects of Civil Engineering (PACE) - an International Congress
Volume 1 - Issue 1 - PACE-2021

Serkan Öztürk


The earthquake forecasting/prediction is a very difficult scientific and socio-economic problem, and it is examined from the decision theoretical standpoint. However, the earthquake precursors/indicators have been preferred to make an estimation of the future events on a statistical base. Extensive researches have failed to find reliable precursors although there are some occurrences such as foreshock, aftershock, swarms, seismic quiescence, seismic activation, etc. Studies on earthquake precursors have been performed for over 150 years and many parameters such as radon concentration, electric and electromagnetic signals, spatio-temporal analysis of earthquake distributions, stress variations, precursory seismic rate changes, ionospheric total electron content variations have been used to make successful earthquake estimations. However, the successful estimations of the next events depend on the location-time-magnitude knowledge. Thus, the principle problem in forecasting/prediction studies is whether the precursors can be used to forecast/predict the future earthquake. Although there have been many approaches for the estimation of earthquakes, these applications can be divided into two parts: the first class is based on the empirical observations of precursory ground motions, whereas the second one is based on the statistical models of seismicity. Although these models have several advantages or disadvantages compared to each other, the best approach does not exist. In the light of studies from past to present, earthquake forecasting/prediction should be accessible, well documented and should specify: (i) time window, (ii) spatial window, (iii) magnitude window, (iv) author’s confidence level in the prediction and (v) chances of the earthquake’s happening anyway, as a random event. Thus, earthquake precursors should be well documented and should specify region-time-magnitude window as well as the evaluating and monitoring of the well-known geophysical and other precursors. However, some questions will live with us for a long time: (i) why is earthquake prediction research not progressing faster? (ii) what comes next in the dynamics of lithosphere and earthquake prediction? (iii) do the precursors exist? (iv) finally, is prediction possible?


Earthquake, Precursors/Indicators, Forecasting, Prediction.