Evaluation of seismic hazard models with fragile geologic features

Mark Stirling, Michael E. Oskin, Ramon Arrowsmith, Anna H. Rood, Christine A. Goulet, Lisa Grant Ludwig, Tamarah King, Albert R. Kottke, Julian C. Lozos, Christopher M. Madugo, Devin McPhillips, Dylan H. Rood, Norman H. Sleep, & Christine Wittich

Published August 19, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10777

We provide an overview of a 2019 workshop on the use of fragile geologic features (FGFs) to evaluate seismic hazard models. FGFs have been scarcely utilized in the evaluation of seismic hazard models, despite nearly 30 yr having passed since the first recognition of their potential value. Recently, several studies have begun to focus on the implementation of FGFs in seismic hazard modeling. The workshop was held to capture a “snapshot” of the state‐of‐the‐art in FGF work and to define key research areas that would increase confidence in FGF‐based evaluation of seismic hazard models. It was held at the annual meeting of the Southern California Earthquake Center on 8 September 2019, and the conveners were Mark Stirling (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Michael Oskin (University of California, Davis). The workshop attracted 44 participants from a wide range of disciplines. The main topics of discussion were FGF fragility age estimation (age at which an FGF achieved its current fragile geometry), fragility estimation, FGF‐based evaluation of seismic hazard models, and ethical considerations relating to documentation and preservation of FGFs. There are now many scientists working on, or motivated to work on, FGFs, and more types of FGFs are being worked on than just the precariously balanced rock (PBR) variety. One of the ideas presented at the workshop is that fragility ages for FGFs should be treated stochastically rather than assuming that all share a common age. In a similar vein, new studies propose more comprehensive methods of fragility assessment beyond peak ground acceleration and peak ground velocity‐based approaches. Two recent studies that apply PBRs to evaluate probabilistic seismic hazard models use significantly different methods of evaluation. Key research needs identified from the workshop will guide future, focused efforts that will ultimately facilitate the uptake of FGFs in seismic hazard analysis.

Key Words
seismic hazard, PSHA, Fragile geologic feature, precariously-balanced rock, FGF, PBR, ground motion

Stirling, M., Oskin, M. E., Arrowsmith, R., Rood, A. H., Goulet, C. A., Grant Ludwig, L., King, T., Kottke, A. R., Lozos, J. C., Madugo, C. M., McPhillips, D., Rood, D. H., Sleep, N. H., & Wittich, C. (2020). Evaluation of seismic hazard models with fragile geologic features. Seismological Research Letters, 92(1), 314-324. doi: 10.1785/0220200197.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Ground motions, Earthquake geology