Predicting how large an earthquake can be, where and when it will strike remains an elusive goal in spite of the ever-increasing volume of data collected by earth scientists. In this paper, we introduce a universal model of fusion-fission processes that can be used to predict earthquakes starting from catalog data. We show how the equilibrium dynamics of this model very naturally explains the Gutenberg-Richter law. Using the high-resolution earthquake catalog of Taiwan between Jan 1994 and Feb 2009, we illustrate how out-of-equilibrium spatio-temporal signatures in the time interval between earthquakes and the integrated energy released by earthquakes can be used to reliably determine the times, magnitudes, and locations of large earthquakes, as well as the maximum numbers of large aftershocks that would follow.
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