The use of Monte Carlo simulations for seismic hazard assessment in the U.K.

R. M. W. Musson


The input required for a seismic hazard study using conventional Probabilistic Seismic Hazard assessment (PSHA) methods can also be used for probabilistic analysis of hazard using Monte Carlo simulation methods. This technique is very flexible, and seems to be under-represented in the literature. It is very easy to modify the form of the seismicity model used, for example, to introduce non-Poissonian behaviour, without extensive reprogramming. Uncertainty in input parameters can also be modelled very flexibly - for example, by the use of a standard deviation rather than by the discrete branches of a logic tree. In addition (and this advantage is perhaps not as trivial as it may sound) the simplicity of the method means that its principles can be grasped by the layman, which is useful when results have to be explained to people outside the seismological/engineering communities, such as planners and politicians. In this paper, some examples of the Monte Carlo method in action are shown in the context of a low to moderate seismicity area: the United Kingdom.


Seismic hazard;Monte Carlo simulation

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X