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The combined passive and active seismic TRANSALP experiment produced an unprecedented high-resolution crustal image of the Eastern Alps between Munich and Venice. The European and Adriatic Mohos (EM and AM, respectively) are clearly imaged with different seismic techniques: near-vertical incidence reflections and receiver functions (RFs). The European Moho dips gently southward from 35 km beneath the northern foreland to a maximum depth of 55 km beneath the central part of the Eastern Alps, whereas the Adriatic Moho is imaged primarily by receiver functions at a relatively constant depth of about 40 km. In both data sets, we have also detected first-order Alpine shear zones, such as the Helvetic detachment, Inntal fault and SubTauern ramp in the north. Apart from the Valsugana thrust, receiver functions in the southern part of the Eastern Alps have also observed a north dipping interface, which may penetrate the entire Adriatic crust [Adriatic Crust Interface (ACI)]. Deep crustal seismicity may be related to the ACI. We interpret the ACI as the currently active retroshear zone in the doubly vergent Alpine collisional belt. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

A SSHAC Level 3 Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis for a New-Build Nuclear Site in South Africa
(2015)

A probabilistic seismic hazard analysis has been conducted for a potential nuclear power plant site on the coast of South Africa, a country of low-to-moderate seismicity. The hazard study was conducted as a SSHAC Level 3 process, the first application of this approach outside North America. Extensive geological investigations identified five fault sources with a non-zero probability of being seismogenic. Five area sources were defined for distributed seismicity, the least active being the host zone for which the low recurrence rates for earthquakes were substantiated through investigations of historical seismicity. Empirical ground-motion prediction equations were adjusted to a horizon within the bedrock at the site using kappa values inferred from weak-motion analyses. These adjusted models were then scaled to create new equations capturing the range of epistemic uncertainty in this region with no strong motion recordings. Surface motions were obtained by convolving the bedrock motions with site amplification functions calculated using measured shear-wave velocity profiles.

Response spectra are of fundamental importance in earthquake engineering and represent a standard measure in seismic design for the assessment of structural performance. However, unlike Fourier spectral amplitudes, the relationship of response spectral amplitudes to seismological source, path, and site characteristics is not immediately obvious and might even be considered counterintuitive for high oscillator frequencies. The understanding of this relationship is nevertheless important for seismic-hazard analysis. The purpose of the present study is to comprehensively characterize the variation of response spectral amplitudes due to perturbations of the causative seismological parameters. This is done by calculating the absolute parameter sensitivities (sensitivity coefficients) defined as the partial derivatives of the model output with respect to its input parameters. To derive sensitivities, we apply algorithmic differentiation (AD). This powerful approach is extensively used for sensitivity analysis of complex models in meteorology or aerodynamics. To the best of our knowledge, AD has not been explored yet in the seismic-hazard context. Within the present study, AD was successfully implemented for a proven and extensively applied simulation program for response spectra (Stochastic Method SIMulation [SMSIM]) using the TAPENADE AD tool. We assess the effects and importance of input parameter perturbations on the shape of response spectra for different regional stochastic models in a quantitative way. Additionally, we perform sensitivity analysis regarding adjustment issues of groundmotion prediction equations.

This study presents results of ambient noise measurements from temporary single station and small-scale array deployments in the northeast of Basle. H/V spectral ratios were determined along various profiles crossing the eastern masterfault of the Rhine Rift Valley and the adjacent sedimentary rift fills. The fundamental H/V peak frequencies are decreasing along the profile towards the eastern direction being consistent with the dip of the tertiary sediments within the rift. Using existing empirical relationships between H/V frequency peaks and the depth of the dominant seismic contrast, derived on basis of the lambda/4-resonance hypothesis and a power law depth dependence of the S-wave velocity, we obtain thicknesses of the rift fill from about 155 m in the west to 280 in in the east. This is in agreement with previous studies. The array analysis of the ambient noise wavefield yielded a stable dispersion relation consistent with Rayleigh wave propagation velocities. We conclude that a significant amount of surface waves is contained in the observed wavefield. The computed ellipticity for fundamental mode Rayleigh waves for the velocity depth models used for the estimation of the sediment thicknesses is in agreement with the observed H/V spectra over a large frequency band

In probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis, epistemic uncertainties are commonly treated within a logic-tree framework in which the branch weights express the degree of belief of an expert in a set of models. For the calculation of the distribution of hazard curves, these branch weights represent subjective probabilities. A major challenge for experts is to provide logically consistent weight estimates (in the sense of Kolmogorovs axioms), to be aware of the multitude of heuristics, and to minimize the biases which affect human judgment under uncertainty. We introduce a platform-independent, interactive program enabling us to quantify, elicit, and transfer expert knowledge into a set of subjective probabilities by applying experimental design theory, following the approach of Curtis and Wood (2004). Instead of determining the set of probabilities for all models in a single step, the computer-driven elicitation process is performed as a sequence of evaluations of relative weights for small subsets of models. From these, the probabilities for the whole model set are determined as a solution of an optimization problem. The result of this process is a set of logically consistent probabilities together with a measure of confidence determined from the amount of conflicting information which is provided by the expert during the relative weighting process. We experiment with different scenarios simulating likely expert behaviors in the context of knowledge elicitation and show the impact this has on the results. The overall aim is to provide a smart elicitation technique, and our findings serve as a guide for practical applications.

Aleatory variability in ground-motion prediction, represented by the standard deviation (sigma) of a ground-motion prediction equation, exerts a very strong influence on the results of probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis (PSHA). This is especially so at the low annual exceedance frequencies considered for nuclear facilities; in these cases, even small reductions in sigma can have a marked effect on the hazard estimates. Proper separation and quantification of aleatory variability and epistemic uncertainty can lead to defensible reductions in sigma. One such approach is the single-station sigma concept, which removes that part of sigma corresponding to repeatable site-specific effects. However, the site-to-site component must then be constrained by site-specific measurements or else modeled as epistemic uncertainty and incorporated into the modeling of site effects. The practical application of the single-station sigma concept, including the characterization of the dynamic properties of the site and the incorporation of site-response effects into the hazard calculations, is illustrated for a PSHA conducted at a rock site under consideration for the potential construction of a nuclear power plant.

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

Enhancing the resolution and accuracy of surface ground-penetrating radar (GPR) reflection data by inverse filtering to recover a zero-phased band-limited reflectivity image requires a deconvolution technique that takes the mixed-phase character of the embedded wavelet into account. In contrast, standard stochastic deconvolution techniques assume that the wavelet is minimum phase and, hence, often meet with limited success when applied to GPR data. We present a new general-purpose blind deconvolution algorithm for mixed-phase wavelet estimation and deconvolution that (1) uses the parametrization of a mixed-phase wavelet as the convolution of the wavelet's minimum-phase equivalent with a dispersive all-pass filter, (2) includes prior information about the wavelet to be estimated in a Bayesian framework, and (3) relies on the assumption of a sparse reflectivity. Solving the normal equations using the data autocorrelation function provides an inverse filter that optimally removes the minimum-phase equivalent of the wavelet from the data, which leaves traces with a balanced amplitude spectrum but distorted phase. To compensate for the remaining phase errors, we invert in the frequency domain for an all-pass filter thereby taking advantage of the fact that the action of the all-pass filter is exclusively contained in its phase spectrum. A key element of our algorithm and a novelty in blind deconvolution is the inclusion of prior information that allows resolving ambiguities in polarity and timing that cannot be resolved using the sparseness measure alone. We employ a global inversion approach for non-linear optimization to find the all-pass filter phase values for each signal frequency. We tested the robustness and reliability of our algorithm on synthetic data with different wavelets, 1-D reflectivity models of different complexity, varying levels of added noise, and different types of prior information. When applied to realistic synthetic 2-D data and 2-D field data, we obtain images with increased temporal resolution compared to the results of standard processing.

Modern natural hazards research requires dealing with several uncertainties that arise from limited process knowledge, measurement errors, censored and incomplete observations, and the intrinsic randomness of the governing processes. Nevertheless, deterministic analyses are still widely used in quantitative hazard assessments despite the pitfall of misestimating the hazard and any ensuing risks.
In this paper we show that Bayesian networks offer a flexible framework for capturing and expressing a broad range of uncertainties encountered in natural hazard assessments. Although Bayesian networks are well studied in theory, their application to real-world data is far from straightforward, and requires specific tailoring and adaptation of existing algorithms. We offer suggestions as how to tackle frequently arising problems in this context and mainly concentrate on the handling of continuous variables, incomplete data sets, and the interaction of both. By way of three case studies from earthquake, flood, and landslide research, we demonstrate the method of data-driven Bayesian network learning, and showcase the flexibility, applicability, and benefits of this approach.
Our results offer fresh and partly counterintuitive insights into well-studied multivariate problems of earthquake-induced ground motion prediction, accurate flood damage quantification, and spatially explicit landslide prediction at the regional scale. In particular, we highlight how Bayesian networks help to express information flow and independence assumptions between candidate predictors. Such knowledge is pivotal in providing scientists and decision makers with well-informed strategies for selecting adequate predictor variables for quantitative natural hazard assessments.