The studies on forecasting earthquakes, which reached their greatest development in the last quarter of the past century, have not solved this problem. The present paper sheds light on this. It is concluded that the philosophy of investigations should be profoundly reconceived, and a systematic approach, which is extensively used for solving complex multicomponent problems, should be applied. If applied to earthquake prediction, it could reveal the weak points of the analysis and determine the necessary volume of observations; it would allow geophysicists to pass from poorly substantiated attempts at forecasting to the systematic study of all aspects of the problem which would provide the basis for the forecast. The current state of the problem and its composing subsystems, the geophysical environment and its stress-strain state, are discussed. The questions that have not been previously given due attention, namely, the relationship between the earthquakes and the paths of fluid migration, the reliability of precursors, and the factors responsible for the lack of their correspondence to the parameters of seismic rupture are analyzed. It is concluded that the current networks of seismic and other geophysical observations are incapable of recording the premonitory signs of an impending earthquake and providing the basis for forecasting large earthquakes.

Kissin, I. G.
Izvestiya Physics of the Solid Earth
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