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Operational Earthquake Forecasting

Earthquakes form clusters in time periods and in geographical areas.

There is no scientific method yet to reliably know the time and location of the next large earthquake. However, there are earthquake-forecasting models that use information about earthquake clustering to probabilistically forecast earthquakes.

In New Zealand, regular dissemination of updated earthquake forecasts started with the Darfield earthquake in September 2010.  Initially the forecasts were based on aftershock models. Since then, we have developed a framework for combining different models on different time-scales, ranging from days to years.

Our latest forecasts: On the GeoNet website

More information about earthquake forecast modelling: Progress and challenges in operational earthquake forecasting in New Zealand, A. Christophersen, D.A. Rhoades, M.C. Gerstenberger, S. Bannister, J. Becker, S.H. Potter & S. McBride, GNS Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. 2017 NZSEE Conference paper.

This section describes the modelling work undertaken following earthquakes in – Kaikōura 2016, and Cook Strait 2013: 

         Describes how we modelled aftershocks for the Mw 7.8 Kaikoura Earthquake using several different models.

         Describes how we use models and scenarios to estimate the possibility of earthquakes for the Cook Strait region.