Research ArticleGEOPHYSICS

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

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Science Advances  22 Aug 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 8, eaau0688
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau0688


Seismic hazard models are important for society, feeding into building codes and hazard mitigation efforts. These models, however, rest on many uncertain assumptions and are difficult to test observationally because of the long recurrence times of large earthquakes. Physics-based earthquake simulators offer a potentially helpful tool, but they 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.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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