ABSTRACT

This study considers the possible implementation of the operational short‐term forecasting, and analysis of earthquake occurrences using a real‐time hypocenter catalog of ongoing seismic activity, by reviewing case studies of the aftershocks of the Mw 6.4 Searles Valley earthquake that occurred before the Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake. First, the short‐term prediction of spatiotemporal activity is required in real time along with the background seismic activity over a wide region to obtain practical probabilities of large earthquakes; snapshots from the continuous forecasts during the Searles Valley and Ridgecrest earthquake sequence are included to monitor the growth and migration of seismic activity over time. We found that the area in and around the rupture zone in southern California had a very high background rate. Second, we need to evaluate whether a first strong earthquake may be the foreshock for a further large earthquake; the rupture region in southern California had one of the highest such probabilities. Third, short‐term probability forecast of early aftershocks are much desired despite the difficulties with data acquisition. The aftershock sequence of the Mw 6.4 Searles Valley event was found to significantly increase the probability of a larger earthquake, as seen in the foreshock sequence of the 2016 MJMA 7.4 Kumamoto, Japan, earthquake. Finally, detrending the temporal activity of all the aftershocks by stretching and shrinking the ordinary time scale according to the rate given by the Omori–Utsu formula or the epidemic‐type aftershock sequence model, we observe the spatiotemporal occurrences in which seismicity patterns may be abnormal, such as relative quiescence, relative activation, or migrating activity. Such anomalies should be recorded and listed for the future evaluation of the probability of a possible precursor for a large aftershock or a new rupture nearby. An example of such anomalies in the aftershocks before the Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake is considered.

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