A seismic hazard uncertainty analysis for the New Madrid seismic zone


A review of the scientific issues relevant to characterizing earthquake sources in the New Madrid seismic zone has led to the development of a logic tree of possible alternative parameters. A variability analysis, using Monte Carlo sampling of this consensus logic tree, is presented and discussed. The analysis shows that for 2%-exceedence-in-50-year hazard, the best-estimate seismic hazard map is similar to previously published seismic hazard maps for the area. For peak ground acceleration (PGA) and spectral acceleration at 0.2 and 1.0 s (0.2 and 1.0 s Sa), the coefficient of variation (COV) representing the knowledge-based uncertainty in seismic hazard can exceed 0.6 over the New Madrid seismic zone and diminishes to about 0.1 away from areas of seismic activity. Sensitivity analyses show that the largest contributor to PGA, 0.2 and 1.0 s Sa seismic hazard variability is the uncertainty in the location of future 1811-1812 New Madrid sized earthquakes. This is followed by the variability due to the choice of ground motion attenuation relation, the magnitude for the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes, and the recurrence interval for M>6.5 events. Seismic hazard is not very sensitive to the variability in seismogenic width and length. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

Publication Title

Engineering Geology