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The 2018 update of the US National Seismic Hazard Model: Ground motion models in the western US

May 14, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) is the scientific foundation of seismic design regulations in the United States and is regularly updated to consider the best available science and data. The 2018 update of the conterminous U.S. NSHM includes significant changes to the underlying ground motion models (GMMs), most of which are necessary to enable the new multi-period response spectra (MPRS) requirements of seismic design regulations that use hazard results for 22 spectral periods and eight site classes. This article focuses on the GMMs used in the western United States (WUS) and is a companion to a recent article on the GMMs used in the central and eastern United States (CEUS). In the WUS, for crustal and subduction earthquakes, two models used in previous versions of the NSHM are excluded to provide consistency over all considered periods and site classes. To more accurately estimate ground motions at long periods in the vicinity of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, the 2018 NSHM incorporates deep sedimentary basin depth from local seismic velocity models. The subduction GMMs considered lack basin depth terms and are modified to include an additional scale factor to account for this. This article documents the WUS GMMs used in the 2018 NSHM update and provides detail on the changes to GMM medians, aleatory variability, epistemic uncertainty, and site-effect models. It compares each of these components with those considered in prior NSHMs and discusses their total effect on hazard.

Publication Year 2021
Title The 2018 update of the US National Seismic Hazard Model: Ground motion models in the western US
DOI 10.1177/87552930211011200
Authors Peter M. Powers, Sanaz Rezaeian, Allison Shumway, Mark D. Petersen, Nicolas Luco, Oliver S. Boyd, Morgan P. Moschetti, Arthur Frankel, Eric M. Thompson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Spectra
Index ID 70231206
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center