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Reply to “Comment on ‘Two Foreshock Sequences Post Gulia and Wiemer (2019)’ by Kelian Dascher-Cousineau, Thorne Lay, and Emily E. Brodsky” by Laura Gulia and Stefan WiemerAbstract Gulia and Wiemer (2019; hereafter, GW2019) proposed a near-real-time monitoring system to discriminate between foreshocks and aftershocks. Our analysis (Dascher-Cousineau et al., 2020; hereinater, DC2020) tested the sensitivity of the proposed Foreshock Traffic-Light System output to parameter choices left to expert judgment for the 2019 Ridgecrest Mw 7.1 and 2020 Puerto Rico Mw 6.4 earthquake sequences. In the accompanying comment, Gulia and Wiemer (2021) suggest that at least six different methodological deviations lead to different pseudoprospective warning levels, particularly for the Ridgecrest aftershock sequence which they had separately evaluated. Here, we show that for four of the six claimed deviations, we conformed to the criteria outlined in GW2019. Two true deviations from the defined procedure are clarified and justified here. We conclude as we did originally, by emphasizing the influence of expert judgment on the outcome in the analysis.
Abstract Recognizing earthquakes as foreshocks in real time would provide a valuable forecasting capability. In a recent study, Gulia and Wiemer (2019) proposed a traffic-light system that relies on abrupt changes in b-values relative to background values. The approach utilizes high-resolution earthquake catalogs to monitor localized regions around the largest events and distinguish foreshock sequences (reduced b-values) from aftershock sequences (increased b-values). The recent well-recorded earthquake foreshock sequences in Ridgecrest, California, and Maria Antonia, Puerto Rico, provide an opportunity to test the procedure. For Ridgecrest, our b-value time series indicates an elevated risk of a larger impending earthquake during the Mw 6.4 foreshock sequence and provides an ambiguous identification of the onset of the Mw 7.1 aftershock sequence. However, the exact result depends strongly on expert judgment. Monte Carlo sampling across a range of reasonable decisions most often results in ambiguous warning levels. In the case of the Puerto Rico sequence, we record significant drops in b-value prior to and following the largest event (Mw 6.4) in the sequence. The b-value has still not returned to background levels (12 February 2020). The Ridgecrest sequence roughly conforms to expectations; the Puerto Rico sequence will only do so if a larger event occurs in themore »