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Keywords:

  • Probability distributions;
  • Earthquake ground motions;
  • Earthquake source observations;
  • Theoretical seismology

SUMMARY

We propose a method to introduce a refined representation of the ground motion in the framework of the Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA). This study is especially oriented to the incorporation of a priori information about source parameters, by focusing on the directivity effect and its influence on seismic hazard maps. Two strategies have been followed. One considers the seismic source as an extended source, and it is valid when the PSHA seismogenetic sources are represented as fault segments. We show that the incorporation of variables related to the directivity effect can lead to variations up to 20 per cent of the hazard level in case of dip-slip faults with uniform distribution of hypocentre location, in terms of spectral acceleration response at 5 s, exceeding probability of 10 per cent in 50 yr. The second one concerns the more general problem of the seismogenetic areas, where each point is a seismogenetic source having the same chance of enucleate a seismic event. In our proposition the point source is associated to the rupture-related parameters, defined using a statistical description. As an example, we consider a source point of an area characterized by strike-slip faulting style. With the introduction of the directivity correction the modulation of the hazard map reaches values up to 100 per cent (for strike-slip, unilateral faults). The introduction of directivity does not increase uniformly the hazard level, but acts more like a redistribution of the estimation that is consistent with the fault orientation. A general increase appears only when no a priori information is available. However, nowadays good a priori knowledge exists on style of faulting, dip and orientation of faults associated to the majority of the seismogenetic zones of the present seismic hazard maps. The percentage of variation obtained is strongly dependent on the type of model chosen to represent analytically the directivity effect. Therefore, it is our aim to emphasize more on the methodology following which, all the information collected may be easily converted to obtain a more comprehensive and meaningful probabilistic seismic hazard formulation.