Exciting news! We're transitioning to the Statewide California Earthquake Center. Our new website is under construction, but we'll continue using this website for SCEC business in the meantime. We're also archiving the Southern Center site to preserve its rich history. A new and improved platform is coming soon!

Ground motion-based testing of seismic hazard models in New Zealand

Mark W. Stirling, & Matthew C. Gerstenberger

Published 2010, SCEC Contribution #1400

We develop a testing methodology for the New Zealand national probabilistic seismic hazard (PSH) model that builds on the groundwork of previous studies. Our fundamental approach is to test the full model, or in other words, the final output of the model (ground motion exceedance for a given return period). Our results show that the PSH model is rejected as underpredicting the historical number of exceedances for specific peak ground acceleration (PGA) levels obtained directly from instrumental strong motion data over the last one to four decades. However, when aftershock ground motions are removed from the strong motion data, the model is not inconsistent with the observations. The implications for the PSH model are that the lack of aftershocks in the model led to initial model rejection, and that the model may perform better for short (decadal) time periods if aftershocks are included in the PSH model. The results are different to those of earlier Modified Mercalli Intensity-based studies which suggested the PSH model was predicting hazard slightly higher than that of the historical record. Our new test dataset has the advantage of using observed PGA rather than PGA inferred from MMI. Establishment of a protocol for formally testing future versions of the New Zealand PSH model within a testing centre such as those using the Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predicitibility protocol will require consideration of the fact that the tests are limited by the available datasets of strong earthquake shaking.

Stirling, M. W., & Gerstenberger, M. C. (2010). Ground motion-based testing of seismic hazard models in New Zealand. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 100, 1407-1414.