Earthquake early warning for the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake: performance evaluation of the current system and the next-generation methods of the Japan Meteorological Agency

Kodera, Yuki; Saitou, Jun; Hayashimoto, Naoki; Adachi, Shimpei; Morimoto, Masahiko; Nishimae, Yuji; Hoshiba, Mitsuyuki
December 2016
Earth, Planets & Space;12/2/2016, Vol. 68 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake (Kumamoto earthquake sequence) is an extremely high-seismicity event that has been occurring across Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures in Japan since April 14, 2016 (JST). The earthquake early warning system of the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued warnings for 19 events in the Kumamoto earthquake sequence from April 14 to 19, under some of the heaviest loading conditions since the system began operating in 2007. We analyzed the system performance for cases where a warning was issued and/or strong motion was actually observed. The results indicated that the system exhibited remarkable performance, especially for the most destructive earthquakes in the Kumamoto earthquake sequence. In addition, the system did not miss or seriously under-predict strong motion of any large earthquake from April 14 to 30. However, in four cases, the system issued over-predicted warnings due to the simultaneous occurrence of small earthquakes within a short distance, which implies a fundamental obstacle in trigger-data classifications based solely on arrival time. We also performed simulations using the integrated particle filter (IPF) and propagation of local undamped motion (PLUM) methods, which JMA plans to implement to address over-prediction for multiple simultaneous earthquakes and under-prediction for massive earthquakes with large rupture zones. The simulation results of the IPF method indicated that the IPF method is highly effective at minimizing over-prediction even for multiple simultaneous earthquakes within a short distance, since it adopts a trigger-data classification using velocity amplitude and hypocenter determinations using not-yet-arrived data. The simulation results of the PLUM method demonstrated that the PLUM method is capable of issuing warnings for destructive inland earthquakes more rapidly than the current system owing to the use of additional seismometers that can only be incorporated by this method.


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