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In low-seismicity regions, such as France or Germany, the estimation of probabilistic seismic hazard must cope with the difficult identification of active faults and with the low amount of seismic data available. Since the probabilistic hazard method was initiated, most studies assume a Poissonian occurrence of earthquakes. Here we propose a method that enables the inclusion of time and space dependences between earthquakes into the probabilistic estimation of hazard. Combining the seismicity model Epidemic Type Aftershocks-Sequence (ETAS) with a Monte Carlo technique, aftershocks are naturally accounted for in the hazard determination. The method is applied to the Pyrenees region in Southern France. The impact on hazard of declustering and of the usual assumption that earthquakes occur according to a Poisson process is quantified, showing that aftershocks contribute on average less than 5 per cent to the probabilistic hazard, with an upper bound around 18 per cent

The estimation of minimum-misfit stochastic models from empirical ground-motion prediction equations
(2006)

In areas of moderate to low seismic activity there is commonly a lack of recorded strong ground motion. As a consequence, the prediction of ground motion expected for hypothetical future earthquakes is often performed by employing empirical models from other regions. In this context, Campbell's hybrid empirical approach (Campbell, 2003, 2004) provides a methodological framework to adapt ground-motion prediction equations to arbitrary target regions by using response spectral host-to-target-region-conversion filters. For this purpose, the empirical ground-motion prediction equation has to be quantified in terms of a stochastic model. The problem we address here is how to do this in a systematic way and how to assess the corresponding uncertainties. For the determination of the model parameters we use a genetic algorithm search. The stochastic model spectra were calculated by using a speed-optimized version of SMSIM (Boore, 2000). For most of the empirical ground-motion models, we obtain sets of stochastic models that match the empirical models within the full magnitude and distance ranges of their generating data sets fairly well. The overall quality of fit and the resulting model parameter sets strongly depend on the particular choice of the distance metric used for the stochastic model. We suggest the use of the hypocentral distance metric for the stochastic Simulation of strong ground motion because it provides the lowest-misfit stochastic models for most empirical equations. This is in agreement with the results of two recent studies of hypocenter locations in finite-source models which indicate that hypocenters are often located close to regions of large slip (Mai et al., 2005; Manighetti et al., 2005). Because essentially all empirical ground-motion prediction equations contain data from different geographical regions, the model parameters corresponding to the lowest-misfit stochastic models cannot necessarily be expected to represent single, physically realizable host regions but to model the generating data sets in an average way. In addition, the differences between the lowest-misfit stochastic models and the empirical ground-motion prediction equation are strongly distance, magnitude, and frequency dependent, which, according to the laws of uncertainty propagation, will increase the variance of the corresponding hybrid empirical model predictions (Scherbaum et al., 2005). As a consequence, the selection of empirical ground-motion models for host-to-target-region conversions requires considerable judgment of the ground-motion analyst

In this paper, two sets of earthquake ground-motion relations to estimate peak ground and response spectral acceleration are developed for sites in southern Spain and in southern Norway using a recently published composite approach. For this purpose seven empirical ground-motion relations developed from recorded strong-motion data from different parts of the world were employed. The different relations were first adjusted based on a number of transformations to convert the differing choices of independent parameters to a single one. After these transformations, which include the scatter introduced, were performed, the equations were modified to account for differences between the host and the target regions using the stochastic method to compute the host-to-target conversion factors. Finally functions were fitted to the derived ground-motion estimates to obtain sets of seven individual equations for use in probabilistic seismic hazard assessment for southern Spain and southern Norway. The relations are compared with local ones published for the two regions. The composite methodology calls for the setting up of independent logic trees for the median values and for the sigma values, in order to properly separate epistemic and aleatory uncertainties after the corrections and the conversions

In the estimate of dispersion with the help of wavelet analysis considerable emphasis has been put on the extraction of the group velocity using the modulus of the wavelet transform. In this paper we give an asymptotic expression of the full propagator in wavelet space that comprises the phase velocity as well. This operator establishes a relationship between the observed signals at two different stations during wave propagation in a dispersive and attenuating medium. Numerical and experimental examples are presented to show that the method accurately models seismic wave dispersion and attenuation

The statistics of time delays between successive earthquakes has recently been claimed to be universal and to show the existence of clustering beyond the duration of aftershock bursts. We demonstrate that these claims are unjustified. Stochastic simulations with Poissonian background activity and triggered Omori-type aftershock sequences are shown to reproduce the interevent-time distributions observed on different spatial and magnitude scales in California. Thus the empirical distribution can be explained without any additional long-term clustering. Furthermore, we find that the shape of the interevent-time distribution, which can be approximated by the gamma distribution, is determined by the percentage of main-shocks in the catalog. This percentage can be calculated by the mean and variance of the interevent times and varies between 5% and 90% for different regions in California. Our investigation of stochastic simulations indicates that the interevent-time distribution provides a nonparametric reconstruction of the mainshock magnitude-frequency distribution that is superior to standard declustering algorithm

Characterization of polarization attributes of seismic waves using continuous wavelet transforms
(2006)

Complex-trace analysis is the method of choice for analyzing polarized data. Because particle motion can be represented by instantaneous attributes that show distinct features for waves of different polarization characteristics, it can be used to separate and characterize these waves. Traditional methods of complex-trace analysis only give the instantaneous attributes as a function of time or frequency. However. for transient wave types or seismic events that overlap in time, an estimate of the polarization parameters requires analysis of the time-frequency dependence of these attributes. We propose a method to map instantaneous polarization attributes of seismic signals in the wavelet domain and explicitly relate these attributes with the wavelet-transform coefficients of the analyzed signal. We compare our method with traditional complex-trace analysis using numerical examples. An advantage of our method is its possibility of performing the complete wave-mode separation/ filtering process in the wavelet domain and its ability to provide the frequency dependence of ellipticity, which contains important information on the subsurface structure. Furthermore, using 2-C synthetic and real seismic shot gathers, we show how to use the method to separate different wave types and identify zones of interfering wave modes

The deterministic calculation of earthquake scenarios using complete waveform modelling plays an increasingly important role in estimating shaking hazard in seismically active regions. Here we apply 3-D numerical modelling of seismic wave propagation to M 6+ earthquake scenarios in the area of the Lower Rhine Embayment, one of the seismically most active regions in central Europe. Using a 3-D basin model derived from geology, borehole information and seismic experiments, we aim at demonstrating the strong dependence of ground shaking on hypocentre location and basin structure. The simulations are carried out up to frequencies of ca. 1 Hz. As expected, the basin structure leads to strong lateral variations in peak ground motion, amplification and shaking duration. Depending on source-basin-receiver geometry, the effects correlate with basin depth and the slope of the basin flanks; yet, the basin also affects peak ground motion and estimated shaking hazard thereof outside the basin. Comparison with measured seismograms for one of the earthquakes shows that some of the main characteristics of the wave motion are reproduced. Cumulating the derived seismic intensities from the three modelled earthquake scenarios leads to a predominantly basin correlated intensity distribution for our study area

Composite ground-motion models and logic trees: Methodology, sensitivities, and uncertainties
(2005)

Logic trees have become a popular tool in seismic hazard studies. Commonly, the models corresponding to the end branches of the complete logic tree in a probabalistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) are treated separately until the final calculation of the set of hazard curves. This comes at the price that information regarding sensitivities and uncertainties in the ground-motion sections of the logic tree are only obtainable after disaggregation. Furthermore, from this end-branch model perspective even the designers of the logic tree cannot directly tell what ground-motion scenarios most likely would result from their logic trees for a given earthquake at a particular distance, nor how uncertain these scenarios might be or how they would be affected by the choices of the hazard analyst. On the other hand, all this information is already implicitly present in the logic tree. Therefore, with the ground-motion perspective that we propose in the present article, we treat the ground-motion sections of a complete logic tree for seismic hazard as a single composite model representing the complete state-of-knowledge-and-belief of a particular analyst on ground motion in a particular target region. We implement this view by resampling the ground-motion models represented in the ground-motion sections of the logic tree by Monte Carlo simulation (separately for the median values and the sigma values) and then recombining the sets of simulated values in proportion to their logic-tree branch weights. The quantiles of this resampled composite model provide the hazard analyst and the decision maker with a simple, clear, and quantitative representation of the overall physical meaning of the ground-motion section of a logic tree and the accompanying epistemic uncertainty. Quantiles of the composite model also provide an easy way to analyze the sensitivities and uncertainties related to a given logic-tree model. We illustrate this for a composite ground- motion model for central Europe. Further potential fields of applications are seen wherever individual best estimates of ground motion have to be derived from a set of candidate models, for example, for hazard rnaps, sensitivity studies, or for modeling scenario earthquakes

The PEGASOS project was a major international seismic hazard study, one of the largest ever conducted anywhere in the world, to assess seismic hazard at four nuclear power plant sites in Switzerland. Before the report of this project has become publicly available, a paper attacking both methodology and results has appeared. Since the general scientific readership may have difficulty in assessing this attack in the absence of the report being attacked, we supply a response in the present paper. The bulk of the attack, besides some misconceived arguments about the role of uncertainties in seismic hazard analysis, is carried by some exercises that purport to be validation exercises. In practice, they are no such thing; they are merely independent sets of hazard calculations based on varying assumptions and procedures, often rather questionable, which come up with various different answers which have no particular significance. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Logic trees are widely used in probabilistic seismic hazard analysis as a tool to capture the epistemic uncertainty associated with the seismogenic sources and the ground-motion prediction models used in estimating the hazard. Combining two or more ground-motion relations within a logic tree will generally require several conversions to be made, because there are several definitions available for both the predicted ground-motion parameters and the explanatory parameters within the predictive ground-motion relations. Procedures for making conversions for each of these factors are presented, using a suite of predictive equations in current use for illustration. The sensitivity of the resulting ground-motion models to these conversions is shown to be pronounced for some of the parameters, especially the measure of source-to-site distance, highlighting the need to take into account any incompatibilities among the selected equations. Procedures are also presented for assigning weights to the branches in the ground-motion section of the logic tree in a transparent fashion, considering both intrinsic merits of the individual equations and their degree of applicability to the particular application