Earthquakes & Tsunami

The earthquakes of New Zealand and Japan along with the subsequent Tsunami in 2011 were devastating. Together with our members we aim to improve approaches to understand, reduce and manage seismic risk worldwide.

Promoting improved hazard assessment to better quantify the uncertainties that can result in large insured losses.

Below are some relevant presentations given to members at a recent RPI Research Update Workshop.

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    The 1811-1812 New Madrid, Central United States Earthquakes: A New View

    According to the most recent assessments, earthquake hazard in the central U.S. is dominated by the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Susan Hough presented a re-evaluation of the New Madrid event and the corresponding changes to the U.S. seismic hazard maps.

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    Global Distribution of Magnitude 9 Earthquakes

    The 2011 Tohoku M9 earthquake, as with other M9 earthquakes, once again caught some in the earthquake community by surprise. A new model based on available slip length was proposed by Robert McCaffrey, and showed good consistency with recent earthquake history.

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    Assessment of Tsunami Hazard for Coastal Infrastructure

    Patrick Lynett presented a review of tsunami hazard modeling approaches. He showed his group's innovative approach to probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment and its apllications.

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    Advances in Real-time Tsunami Forecasting

    Based on new measurement systems and computational resources, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has developed new tsunami forecast capabilities for U.S. Coastlines. Vasily Titov presented the future approach of real-time forecasting of tsunamis in an overview that demostrated its abilities.

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    New Developments in USGS Seismic Hazard Assessment

    The USGS is preparing for the next release of the National Seismic Hazard Maps (NSHM), due out in 2014. Peter Powers presented a preview of the updated methods and models, as well as changes in the hazard maps.

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    Earthquake Damage Inception and Saturation

    Damage relationships, together with hazard models and financial stakeholder models, determine the outputs of catastrophe models. William Graf presented new research results on damage saturation points for earthquake hazards in different building categories.

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    The M9.0 Japan and M6.3 Christchurch Events: What we've learned about the capabilities and limits of studying earthquakes from space

    Susan Owen presented results from JPL's measurement campaign of two recent earthquakes, the M9.0 Japan and M6.3 Christchurch events. She outlined possible applications of the data products and gave her view on changes to the hazard probabilities subsequent to events.