"SHORT-TERM EARTHQUAKE PREDICTION" MONOGRAPH
monograph: "Short-term Earthquake Prediction"
This is a book about short-term earthquake prediction, written for
seismologists, geologists, and geophysicists, who are interested in
the specific topic. Its aim is to introduce deterministic ideas,
based on Physics, towards the solution of this problem, while, at
the same time, the theory of Physics is applied into practice. The
purpose of this book is, to show that the problem of short-term
earthquake prediction, despite the fact that it is considered as
unsolvable by the majority of seismologists, it can be solved, for
the case of strong earthquakes, in terms of deterministic well-known
Physics laws, and not only to add a new monograph, to the already
existing, large number of books which refer to earthquake
The majority of the existing bibliography, which is related to the
topic of earthquake prediction, is more or less distinguished in two
main categories. The first one, which is the largest, refers to
reviewing to date statistical methodologies in all aspects, already
applied to, and, mainly, aiming to determine the time of occurrence
(medium-term, long-term time prediction and to a shorter extent the
magnitude) of a future strong earthquake, while the second one
refers to various, published proceedings and concerns the papers,
presented, in different workshops, congresses, international
meetings etc which are dedicated to the topic of earthquake
Moreover, in terms of time prediction, the majority of the
bibliography refers to medium-term or long-term prediction, since,
generally, statistics are applied to study long periods of
reoccurrence of seismic events which are present in earthquake
catalogs and therefore, it is impossible to obtain results which
could be referred as short-term prediction. On the other hand, it is
very difficult, in mathematics and physics, to predict the behavior
of a nonlinear physical system, far in the future, while, it is
quite reliable to utilize it at the vicinity-time of the final
event, which is studied, namely, the occurrence of the future,
In contrast to these two bibliographic categories this book
presents an integrated solution for the short-term earthquake
prediction, which determines, in physical and mathematical sense,
the three parameters (location, timing and magnitude), which are
required in order to define a strong earthquake, and hence to
utilize a successful prediction. The latter is achieved by the use
of well-known physical mechanisms, different adopted, physical
models, which are interrelated, for the formulation of the
mathematical / physical solution, regarding each prognostic
This book has been written for Earth scientists (seismologists,
geologists, geophysicists), who are interested in or already
involved into the topic of “earthquake prediction”. Since the
mathematical background of the readers varies, having this in mind,
the mathematical treatment, at a certain extent, has been omitted,
although, indispensable formulae are included.
Actually, the collection and study of the material, which is
included in this book, had started since 1981, when the VAN research
group, initially, announced the VAN methodology for the prediction
of the earthquakes. The large debate, triggered, between the
seismologists and the VAN team, attracted my interest to study this
problem, but from the Applied, Geophysical point of view. The result
of this study, after almost 25 years of analysis of the data,
occasionally available, and more recently of the obtained data, from
an installed, experimental, monitoring network, indicated that the
short-term earthquake prediction is an achievable target, provided
that, the right physical models and mechanisms would be taken into
account, to determine the required earthquake predictive parameters,
for a future, strong earthquake.
In the course of the presentation of the material of this book, is
made a short introduction about seismology, earthquakes, earthquake
prediction and its evolution in time, types of prediction,
predictability of earthquakes and earthquake precursors.
The location of strong earthquakes, lithospheric fracturing, depth
distribution of earth-quakes and some tectonic topics related to
earthquake generation in the Greek territory, are dealt with, in an
introductory, new way, since, these are new ideas, which are used in
the analysis of the problem of short-term earthquake prediction.
The different electrical signals generation mechanisms are
presented, since the various generated, earthquake precursory,
electrical signals are the basic element of the methodology to be
In the following sections, the earthquake prognostic parameters – time,
location, and magnitude - are determined separately. Firstly, is
discussed the theoretical background, which is followed by examples
of the application of the theory in to practice, from data collected
in the Greek seismogenic area. The integrated methodology is applied
on specific strong earthquakes, which occurred in Greece, during the
period 2000 – 2006.
In a separate section, is presented, the utilization of the
methodology in field conditions and, specifically, the technical
description of the monitoring network which is required for the
implementation of the methodology. The data processing flow-chart
and data processing examples are presented, from actual recordings
made in the Greek territory. The presently active, monitoring
network, which is used in Greece, for the implementation of the
methodology and its future expansion final scheme, is shown and
It must be pointed out that this book, in the majority of its
material presented, focuses to the physical problem itself rather
than into detailed, mathematical analysis. Therefore, the required
mathematical analysis, regarding each discussed topic, is kept at
minimum. However, extensive references are presented, for those
interested in mathematical details. This facilitates the
understanding of the new ideas and the overall philosophy which is
followed and concerns the proposed, integrated solution.
Moreover, the theoretical analysis, which is presented, is followed
by real examples, along with a large number (573) of figures, which
are explanatory to the theory and to its application in practice, as
Some times, introductory material and earlier research work is
repeated, at different sections of this book. This serves the
purpose to provide the reader, each time, with an integrated view of
the background of the topic dealt with, in each section.
Finally, an overall summary is presented, which discuses the entire
methodology and speculates its drawbacks and merits.
All along the text presentation, is given a large number of
references to more detailed papers and bibliography, related, to
each topic discussed.
The data, which have been collected by the installed, monitoring
network in Greece, during its operation (almost 4 years), are
included in an attached CD, along with all the material, needed, for
a third party evaluation of the methodology.
Acknowledgements are made to all those who assisted, in one or
another way, for the implementation of this methodology.
Specifically, I am indebted to the following persons:
Tsatsaragos, J., for reviving (1999) my interest to earthquake
prediction and by providing me with the initial Earth’s potential
raw, material, registered in Volos, Greece, before the strong
earthquakes in Izmit, Turkey and Athens, Greece (1999).
Klentos, V., whose excellent computer programming skills were used,
to utilize all the necessary procedures, required, for various raw
data conversions and predictive parameters calculations. His
contribution to the implementation of the specific prediction scheme
is invaluable, while he assisted a lot in the installation of all
current, monitoring sites (ATH, PYR, and HIO).
Verveniotis, G., for his volunteer efforts for the installation and
smooth operation of (PYR) monitoring site.
Zymaris, N., for his volunteer efforts for the installation and
smooth operation of (HIO) monitoring site.
Tsailas, P., for his continuous care to provide me with the
Magnetic Observatory of Penteli (MOP), Athens, Greece magnetic
registrations of the Earth’s magnetic field components.
Prof. Apostolopoulos, Th., Karystinaios, N., Stefouli, M., Skianis,
G., Zindros, G., Karatzas, N., Georgopoulou, P., Galanakis, D.,
Ioannidis, K., Ioannidis, S., Noutsis, V., Tsoutas, E., for
providing me with computer hardware, which was used in the various
Organization for Telecommunications of Hellas (OTE), Pyrgos
Division, for assisting me to install the monitoring site of PYR.
I express my thanks to all the organizations and authors, who
permitted me to use their already published illustrative material.
It was necessary, in certain cases, for the shake of an integrated
scientific presentation, to use published material, for which I
couldn’t get in contact with the publishers, in order to obtain
permission for this purpose. In these cases, I used this material
but, at the same time, I have given full credit to the original
source. I hope that this will not harm anyone and in any case I
apologize for it.
22nd September, 2007
Dr. Thanassoulas Constantine
- All those, who lost their lives or have suffered a lot, by
- my wife Aleka
to the memory of my parents Areti and Panayiotis.