What are major concepts of the Omega-Theory?

What is the Omega-Theory?

The Omega-Theory is an all-new theory of the fundamental underlying physics of earthquakes and faulting processes in the Earth's crust.

What are the main concepts of this theory?

There are three main concepts of this theory that are used in the earthquake forecasting/predictions; (1) synchronizations, (2) tectonic waves, and (3) seismic states.

What are synchronizations?

The best every-day life analogy to synchronizations in earthquakes is a group of soldiers marching over the bridge. When all soldiers synchronize their rhythm, they can make the bridge collapse because of the resonance. The same is happening in the Earth’s crust, where “soldiers” are tectonic faults and blocks of rocks. When smaller tectonic faults and blocks of rocks synchronize their rhythms, a major earthquake can happen in the region.

Does that mean that earthquakes are predictable?

Yes, this means that earthquakes can be predicted based on the careful study of synchronizations. The figure above illustrates how our software (T-TECTO) calculates the timing of the impending earthquake. On the x-axis, there are past earthquakes in the region of the Northern Italy between 25/11/2008, and 15/03/2012 and with the magnitude above 3.5. Blue columns illustrate the magnitude of these earthquakes. The black spike on the right illustrates the calculated synchronization. The actual Emilia (2012) earthquake is illustrated with the star.

What is the difference between forecasting and predicting earthquakes in the Omega-theory?

When we calculate the probability for the earthquake occurrence over a longer time period (for example several years), and we know that many synchronizations will occur during that time, we speak of earthquake forecasting. However, when we calculate the probability for earthquake occurrence for one specific synchronization, we speak of earthquake prediction.

What is the data-input for our software to predict earthquakes?

The input data are the EMSC, USGS or CMT seismic catalogs (freely available on the internet), which contain information on timing, magnitude, and the epicenter of past earthquakes in the region. To predict the next earthquake(s) we need maximum 50 past earthquakes in the chosen region.

What are tectonic waves?

Dominoes are the best every-day analogy with tectonic waves. When one domino falls, all subsequent dominoes will also fall, leading to a “wave” of collapsing dominoes. In the Earth’s crust the “dominoes” are tectonic faults and blocks of rock, and the domino effect in the crust leads to the so-called tectonic waves or also strain waves. These waves have all possible velocities up to 6000 m/s. There exist very slow tectonic waves that are related to large earthquakes, and ultrafast tectonic waves on a daily basis.

Can we monitor/calculate the position of tectonic waves on the Earth?

Yes! Based on a careful analysis of the distribution of past earthquakes on Earth we can calculate the current and future position of tectonic waves. When these waves pass through active tectonic lines and plate-tectonic boundaries, they can cause strong earthquakes. Therefore, tectonic waves (red clouds on the image above) define endangered regions, where probabilities for the earthquake occurrences have to be checked.

What are seismic states?

Tectonic waves all over the Earth define the so-called seismic states. We can illustrate them as clouds, which is a very similar approach to that used in meteorology.

The Omega-Theory and the T-TECTO software

Complete Omega-Theory is implemented into the T-TECTO software that can be used to explain occurrences of past and current earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. We can also make long-term, intermediate-term, short-term and immediate earthquake predictions/forecasts or predictions/forecasts of volcanic eruptions.