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Seismic Risk from Induced and Natural Earthquakes for the Central and Eastern United States

Taojun Liu, Nicolas Luco, & Abbie B. Liel

Published September 16, 2016, SCEC Contribution #6407, 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #172 (PDF)

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Earthquake rates in some parts of the Central and Eastern United States have increased dramatically in the past few years, mostly due to wastewater injection associated with oil and gas activities. This induced seismicity has caused damage to buildings and raised substantial public concern. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published a seismic hazard model in March 2016 that accounts for this elevated seismicity. The model provides a one-year forecast for seismic hazard from both induced and natural earthquakes. However, the implications of the hazard model for seismic risk is unknown. This paper quantifies seismic risk due to induced seismicity by combining the USGS 2016 model and fragility curves representing collapse risk and risk of nonstructural falling hazards for code-designed structures. This assessment shows substantial increase in risk for some areas compared to that due to natural earthquakes alone. The increase in risk depends on building period, location, the performance target of interest, and hazard modeling assumptions. For exploratory purposes only, we also investigate the increase in design ground motion levels that would correspond to the increased risk.

Liu, T., Luco, N., & Liel, A. B. (2016, 09). Seismic Risk from Induced and Natural Earthquakes for the Central and Eastern United States. Poster Presentation at 2016 SCEC Annual Meeting.

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