SRL Call for Papers

Statistical Seismology and Probabilistic Earthquake Forecasting: Old Frontiers in the Rear-View Mirror

Seismological Research Letters (SRL) is soliciting papers for a Focus Section on Statistical Seismology and Probabilistic Earthquake Forecasting.

Two pioneers of statistical seismology have sadly passed away recently: Dr. Yan Kagan (in 2022) and Professor Dave Jackson (in 2023). They served as examples to many for their dedication throughout the years to challenge, constructively, common assumptions in earthquake physics, earthquake forecasting and hazard models. They always pressed for rigorous model formulation and independent testing, leading to more objective earthquake science. This focus section is intended to honor their memory by showcasing their broad and deep influence across seismology, including rigorous statistical data analysis and modeling of seismic and GNSS data, uncertainties in inverse problems, probabilistic earthquake forecasting and testing, and critically challenging common assumptions in seismic hazard (source) models.

Both their individual contributions and their decades-long collaboration explored many subjects and methods, but perhaps they were best known for their rebuttals to the popular concepts of characteristics earthquakes and seismic gaps, their rigorous statistical techniques for analyzing and modeling earthquake catalogs and their uncertainties; and their development and testing of probabilistic earthquake forecasts that express both spatial and temporal clustering. In this Focus Section, we encourage submissions that demonstrate their broad legacy, but we anticipate a particular focus on earthquake forecasting, as, in the late Dave Jackson’s own recent words:

“Earthquake forecasting, with special attention to hazards, has been a focus in seismology at least since the 1910 Lawson report [of the April 1906 California earthquake]. Notable efforts include: the 1979 ‘Seismic Gap’ study [by McCann et al., 1979]; the 1988 and several following USGS reports about major probabilities of large earthquakes on California faults, and more detailed studies since 1992 organized by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC). A big shift in style, specificity, and effort came with new attention to forecast testing led by the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability (CSEP). Forecasts evolved into new formats, as did the statistical tools for evaluation.

As we look forward, let’s peek back at what we learned from this evolution. One goal of the testing community was making earthquake studies more scientific by using more precise language rather than vague suggestions of possible seismic futures. The intention was to encourage statistical studies, but better yet to pose probing questions. Did it work? Did it lead to new discoveries? New versions of prior discoveries? Confirmation of hoped-for results? Or overturning of cherished conclusions? Did it reveal long trusted but unvalidated assumptions? Or produce better models of earthquake likelihood?”

Guest Editors for this Special Issue:

Deadline for Submission: 6 May 2024

Articles accepted to this SRL Focus Section on Statistical Seismology and Probabilistic Earthquake Forecasting will be published online soon after acceptance and collectively in print in the November 2024 issue. Papers will be reviewed as they are received and published online prior to the print issue.

In preparing manuscripts, authors must follow the SRL author guidelines at Papers must be submitted via the SRL online submission system ( under the category “Focus Section – Statistical Seismology.”

Please address questions about scientific issues to the guest editors or SRL Editor-in-Chief Allison Bent at  Submission-related questions should be addressed to the SRL Editorial Office at