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!

A physics-based earthquake simulator replicates seismic hazard statistics across California

Bruce E. Shaw, Kevin R. Milner, Edward H. Field, Keith Richards-Dinger, Jacquelyn J. Gilchrist, James H. Dieterich, & Thomas H. Jordan

Published August 22, 2018, SCEC Contribution #8093

Seismic hazard models are important for society, feeding into building codes and hazard mitigation efforts. They, however, rest on many uncertain assumptions and are difficult to test observationally due to the long recurrence times of large earthquakes. Physics-based earthquake simulators offer a potentially helpful tool, but themselves face a vast range of fundamental scientific uncertainties. We compare a physics-based earthquake simulator against the latest seismic hazard model for California. Using only uniform parameters in the simulator we find strikingly good agreement of the long-term shaking hazard compared with the California model. This ability to replicate statistically-based seismic hazard estimates by a physics-based model cross-validates standard methods, and provides a new alternative approach needing fewer inputs and assumptions for estimating hazard.

Shaw, B. E., Milner, K. R., Field, E. H., Richards-Dinger, K., Gilchrist, J. J., Dieterich, J. H., & Jordan, T. H. (2018). A physics-based earthquake simulator replicates seismic hazard statistics across California. Science Advances, 4(8). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau0688.