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Visualizing Post-Seismic Drought Scenarios: An Analysis of Historical Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault System

Suzie Duran, Shreya Agrawal, Haydee L. Portillo, Stephanie Soto, Jose J. Rico, Elvis Carrillo, Gabriela R. Noriega, & Thomas H. Jordan

Published August 1, 2019, SCEC Contribution #9314, 2019 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #306

Given the historical period of 1812-1912, when California experienced some of the largest earthquakes recorded on the San Andreas Fault System (SAFS), the current drought seems to be unprecedented and statistically unlikely. To understand the risks that we might experience at the end of a drought, we analyzed six simulated earthquakes of Mw7.0 and above, similar to those which ruptured during the period of 1812-1912 on the San Andreas, Elsinore, Hayward and San Jacinto faults. The Rate-State earthQuake Simulator (RSQSim) program was used to simulate historical earthquakes, within a 100-year time period, and extract shakemaps for the representative simulated earthquakes using OpenSHA and Eclipse software. Using FEMA’s hazard and risk assessment software, HAZUS, we calculated the present-day estimated losses of these historical events based on the 2010 census data including their inflated costs. The total economic losses from these earthquake were estimated to be $258 ± 22.86 billion. Our analysis suggests that a similar earthquake in the next century would increase the annual expected loss (AEL) due to earthquakes in the United States by $2.58 billion, which is 69.72% of the current AEL (FEMA, 2017). These historical earthquakes provide perspective on future economic losses and help us visualize the potential risks posed by Mw7.0 or above earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault System.

Duran, S., Agrawal, S., Portillo, H. L., Soto, S., Rico, J. J., Carrillo, E., Noriega, G. R., & Jordan, T. H. (2019, 08). Visualizing Post-Seismic Drought Scenarios: An Analysis of Historical Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault System. Poster Presentation at 2019 SCEC Annual Meeting.

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