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Seismic hazard assessment for areas of volcanic activity in western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

December 29, 2023

Earthquake swarms caused by volcanic activity, tectonic stresses, or industrial operations (oil and gas production) can pose considerable risk for nearby settlements. As a rule, a probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) that is based on time-independent earthquakes does not take into account earthquake swarms because of their statistically time-dependent nature. We describe the technique and application of a scenario-based method for the estimation of seismic hazard from earthquake swarms that may occur in areas of volcanic activity in western Saudi Arabia. The method consists of the generation of a large number of scenario seismic swarms followed by the calculation of ground motion in a site of interest for all earthquakes in all of the swarms. The set of calculated ground-motion values permits the construction and analysis of probability distribution functions for possible ground-motion levels during the hypothetical earthquake swarms. The level of ground motion representing the hazard is selected considering an appropriate value of the probability of exceedance or non-exceedance, depending on the goal of the study. This swarm-scenario-based seismic hazard assessment may provide a valuable supplement to an ordinary PSHA and (or) deterministic seismic hazard assessment that are commonly used for emergency response and post-earthquake recovery management.

Publication Year 2023
Title Seismic hazard assessment for areas of volcanic activity in western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
DOI 10.3133/pp1862P
Authors Hani M. Zahran, Vladimir Sokolov, Ian C. F. Stewart
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1862
Index ID pp1862P
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earthquake Science Center