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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-300
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2020-300
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  10 Nov 2020

10 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

A sanity check for earthquake recurrence models used in PSHA of slow deforming regions: the case of SW Iberia

Margarida Ramalho1, Luis Matias2, Marta Neres3, Michele M. C. Carafa4, Alexandra Carvalho5, and Paula Teves-Costa2 Margarida Ramalho et al.
  • 1Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2Instituto Dom Luiz (IDL), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
  • 3Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera, Lisbon, Portugal
  • 4Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Tettonofisica e Sismologia, L’Aquila, Italy
  • 5LNEC, Avenida do Brasil 101, 1700-066 Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract. Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) is the most common tool used to decide on the acceptable seismic risk and corresponding mitigation measures. We propose two consistency tests to address the variability of earthquake generation models found in PSHA studies: i) one rule-of-thumb test where the seismic moment release from the model is converted to an average slip on a typical fault and compared with known plate kinematics or GNSS deformation field; ii) using a neotectonic model, the computed deformation is converted into seismic moment release and to a synthetic earthquake catalogue. We apply these tests to the W and SW Iberia slow deforming region, where two earthquake source areas are investigated: 1) the Lower Tagus Valley, one of the largest seismic risk zones of Portugal; and 2) the offshore SW Iberia area, considered to be the source for the 1st November 1755 event (M~8.7). Results show that some of the earthquake source models should be considered as suspicious, given their high/low moment release when compared to the expected values from GNSS observations or neotectonic modelling. In conclusion, PSHA studies in slow deforming regions should include a similar sanity check on their models' evaluation, downgrading the weight of poorly compliant models.

Margarida Ramalho et al.

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Short summary
Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) is the most common tool used to decide on the acceptable seismic risk by society and mitigation measures. In Slow deforming regions, such Iberia, the earthquake generation models (EGM) for PSHA suffer from a great uncertainty. In this work we propose two sanity tests to be applied to EGMs, comparing the EGM moment release with constrains derived from GNSS observations or neotectonic modelling. Similar tests should be part of other regions studies.
Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) is the most common tool used to decide on the...
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