Comment on “Communicating with uncertainty: A critical issue with probabilistic seismic hazard analysis”



With earthquake prediction appearing now as a possibly unrealizable goal, the contribution that seismologists can make to protecting society against the disastrous effects of earthquakes chiefly revolves around making estimates of likely future levels of earthquake activity that engineers and planners can use in the course of implementing mitigation strategies: seismic hazard analysis. One of the key issues in this field is the treatment of irreducible uncertainty in some of the input parameters, which has been found to defeat simple attempts to produce unique deterministic values for maximum ground motion. Seismologists handle this by modeling uncertainty with a probabilistic approach, referred to as probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA).