This research results from a long-term fruitful collaboration involving the International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, IIEPT, Russian Academy of Sciences, the SAND Group, The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, and the Department of Mathematics and Geosciences, DMG, University of Trieste. The research includes the application of the existing intermediate- term earthquake prediction methods and the development of the new generation of earthquake prediction algorithms. It includes also the estimation of the major features of earthquakes flow (similarity, self-similarity, range in correlation in space and time, limits of predictability), the search of new precursor phenomena, and the development of the software for the analysis of seismicity.
A family of formally defined procedures (e.g. algorithms M8 and CN) has been developed and globally tested for intermediate-term middle-range earthquake prediction. The general methodology common to the different algorithms makes use of general concepts of pattern recognition that permit to deal with multiple sets of seismic precursors, and allows for a diagnosis of the periods of time when a strong event is likely to occur inside a given region. The ongoing experiments in near real time predictions, performed on a global scale for more than 20 years (starting in 1985), allow for a rigorous prospective testing of the algorithms and already permit to assess the statistical significance of the mentioned algorithms. These methods make use of detectable inverse cascade of seismic process, at different space and time ranges, to reduce consecutively space and time limits where a strong earthquake has to be expected.
The intermediate-term earthquake prediction, which is feasible at present though limited both in accuracy and reliability, can be used nevertheless to reduce the casualties and economic losses and other damage, inflicted by the earthquakes. The key to this reduction is diversity and preparedness of safety measures, combined in flexible scenario of response to a prediction.
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