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Towards advancing the earthquake forecasting by machine learning of satellite data

journal contribution
posted on 03.02.2021, 09:56 by P Xiong, L Tong, K Zhang, X Shen, R Battiston, D Ouzounov, R Iuppa, D Crookes, C Long, Huiyu Zhou
Earthquakes have become one of the leading causes of death from natural hazards in the last fifty years. Continuous efforts have been made to understand the physical characteristics of earthquakes and the interaction between the physical hazards and the environments so that appropriate warnings may be generated before earthquakes strike. However, earthquake forecasting is not trivial at all. Reliable forecastings should include the analysis and the signals indicating the coming of a significant quake. Unfortunately, these signals are rarely evident before earthquakes occur, and therefore it is challenging to detect such precursors in seismic analysis. Amongst the available technologies for earthquake research, remote sensing has been commonly used due to its unique features such as fast imaging and wide image-acquisition range. Nevertheless, early studies on pre-earthquake and remote-sensing anomalies are mostly oriented towards anomaly identification and analysis of a single physical parameter. Many analyses are based on singular events, which provide a lack of understanding of this complex natural phenomenon because usually, the earthquake signals are hidden in the environmental noise. The universality of such analysis still is not being demonstrated on a worldwide scale. In this paper, we investigate physical and dynamic changes of seismic data and thereby develop a novel machine learning method, namely Inverse Boosting Pruning Trees (IBPT), to issue short-term forecast based on the satellite data of 1,371 earthquakes of magnitude six or above due to their impact on the environment. We have analyzed and compared our proposed framework against several states of the art machine learning methods using ten different infrared and hyperspectral measurements collected between 2006 and 2013. Our proposed method outperforms all the six selected baselines and shows a strong capability in improving the likelihood of earthquake forecasting across different earthquake databases.


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School of Informatics


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Science of the Total Environment





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