Meeting Information

Progress and Pitfalls in Earthquake Prediction and Forecasting

November 18, 2020
Virtual Talk

Date: November 18, 2020
Speaker: Michael L. Blanpied, U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazards Program
Title: Progress and Pitfalls in Earthquake Prediction and Forecasting
Time and Location: 1:00 PM (See call details below) Virtual Talk (Zoom)

Abstract: Earthquake prediction has been called the Holy Grail of seismology, and has proven to be an equally elusive prize. Indeed, despite decades of research, earth scientists have been unable to discover a means by which to skillfully and usefully predict the location, magnitude and time of large earthquakes. This talk will review what’s been learned about this prediction grail and why it remains hidden (if it exists at all), and the kinds of prediction research that continue. It will then turn to what we ARE currently able to do, including the probabilistic forecasting of earthquake occurrence and hazard over long time periods (decades) to support building codes and other mitigation strategies, over intermediate time periods (months to a year) where earthquakes are driven by industrial activities, and over shorter time periods (hours to months) in the case of earthquake aftershocks.

Biography: Dr. Michael L. Blanpied, Ph.D., is a geophysicist serving as Associate Coordinator of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program. His duties include oversight of the Program’s earthquake hazards assessments and its research on earthquake physics, occurrence and effects. He serves as executive secretary to the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council (NEPEC), an expert group that advises USGS on earthquake predictions and forecasting methods.

Dr. Blanpied joined the USGS earthquake research group in Menlo Park, CA in 1989 after completing his doctorate at Brown University. His research has focused on the physics of earthquakes, including experimental investigations of the physics of fault slip and frictional properties of fault surfaces; applications of laboratory data to earthquake occurrence and the deformation of the continental crust; computer and laboratory modeling of earthquake interactions; and the development and application of probabilistic assessments of earthquake likelihood. He served as co-chair of the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities, which developed a new methodology for forecasting the likelihood of damaging earthquakes and published 30-year forecasts for the San Francisco Bay Region in 1999 and 2003. He relocated to USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia in 2003 to join the Earthquake Hazards Program office.

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Meeting ID: 988 0712 5320
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