Quantectum is at the forefront of research in operational earthquake forecasting. To improve our forecasts, the Operational Center uses the latest scientific advances in areas such as the Cosserat continuum mechanics of faulting and earthquakes, global tectonic stress analysis, chaotic synchronization theory in seismology, ensemble modeling, Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment, and Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere-Coupling theory.
Quantectum works collaboratively with scientists across the world on all aspects of earthquake forecasting as well as with partners within many seismically endangered regions.
A widespread assumption is that the earthquake sequences are random and earthquake occurrence is chaotic. Rigorous mathematical analysis of seismic catalogs shows that this is not the case. Quantectum’s models show that earthquakes are triggered by unidirectional and bidirectional coupling between locally unstable tectonic zones defined by the synchronization of the earthquake sequences and the global shear traction field generated by tectonic waves. The results demonstrate that earthquakes can be forecasted with high probabilities.
The Cosserat continuum theory of earthquakes and faulting
Quantectum earthquake forecast models are based on the recent advances in the field of the Cosserat continuum mechanics applied to earthquake physics, described within the Omega-theory of earthquake and faulting related processes. This theory allows us to model not only the shear slip along the faults but also the rotation of the blocks between the fault planes.
Based on these advances we can, for the first time, forecast the location, magnitude, and time of possible future earthquakes with a certain amount of probability.
Synchronized earthquake sequences
The Omega-theory shows that earthquake sequences along the parallel and intersecting faults are not random but periodic or geometric. These are the so-called Omega-sequences. These are the so-called Omega-sequences. To illustrate how such earthquake sequences work we can think of falling dominoes. If all dominoes are of equal size, the sequence of events is periodic. But if the dominoes form a geometric series the sequence of events is geometric. Thousands of such periodic and geometric earthquake sequences are constantly occurring in the Earth’s crust along the active faults. They, however, do not run independently, but interact with each other. The discovery of these interactions has led to a significant theoretical breakthrough in seismology. Earthquake sequences synchronise their rhythm and sometimes produce a large event at the same time. This is a well-known phenomenon in theoretical physics, called chaotic synchronisation.
The second major concept of the Omega-Theory is the tectonic wave. Again, the best everyday analogy with tectonic waves is an example of falling dominoes. When one domino falls, all subsequent dominoes will fall, leading to a wave of collapsing dominoes. In the Earth’s crust, the »dominoes« are faults and blocks of rock, while the domino effect in the Earth’s crust leads to the formation of tectonic waves. Based on the analysis of the distribution of past earthquakes we can calculate the current and future positions of tectonic waves. When tectonic waves pass through an active fault system, they can generate strong earthquakes. Therefore, tectonic waves define endangered regions where high shear traction occurs. This leads us to the conclusion that earthquakes are not chaotic and/or coincidental. They are triggered by synchronised and highly organised processes in the Earth's crust.
Tectonic waves and the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling (LAIC theory)
- Tectonic waves are not just a hypothetical construct. These are waves of deformation that can be directly observed based on the Earth’s crust degassing and consequent changes in the Atmospheric;
- Chemical Potential (ACP). These observations represent the direct proof of the validity of both the Omega-Theory and the LAIC theory;
- Changes in the radon emissions and ACP can be used for the nowcasting of earthquakes and issuing of major alarms in the earthquake preparation zones.
More detailed information about the LAIC is available here.