Evaluation of ground-motion models for USGS seismic hazard forecasts: Induced and tectonic earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States

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Ground-motion model (GMM) selection and weighting introduce a significant source of uncertainty in U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seismic hazard models. The increase in moderate moment magnitude induced earthquakes (M w 4-5.8) in Oklahoma and Kansas since 2009 caused by increased wastewater injection related to oil and gas production (Keranen et al., 2013, 2014; McNamara, Hayes, et al., 2015; Weingarten et al., 2015) provides useful near-source (≤ 40 km) instrumental groundmotion observations for comparisons between central and eastern United States (CEUS) induced (Rennolet et al., 2017) and tectonic (Goulet et al., 2014) earthquakes. In this study, we evaluate more than 50 GMMs using two well-established probabilistic scoring methods: log likelihood (LLH) (Scherbaum et al., 2004, 2009) and multivariate LLH (MLLH) (Mak et al., 2017). The LLH approach compares the mean and standard deviation (σ) of the observed and modeled ground motions. The MLLH approach advances the LLH method by considering the variability (φ; θ) of multiple correlated variables, namely intra- (within) and inter- (between) event residuals. For the probabilistic scoringGMMevaluationmethods (LLH,MLLH), we compute horizontal-component peak ground acceleration (PGA) and 1-s pseudospectral acceleration (PSA1.0) total residuals using GMM software (nshmp-haz) recently implemented by the USGS National Seismic Hazard Model Project (NSHMP). We observe from LLH and MLLH scores that (1) newer GMMs with lower standard deviations (σ, φ, θ) score better than older GMMs with higher published uncertainty; (2) 2014 CEUS GMMs score better for CEUS tectonic earthquakes than induced earthquakes; (3) Next Generation Attenuation-West2 Project (NGA-West2), Grazier (2017, referred as G17), and Atkinson (2015, referred as A15) GMMs score well for CEUS induced earthquake ground motions; and (4) Next Generation Attenuation-East Project (NGA-East) GMMs score well for CEUS tectonic earthquake ground motions.We also use the LLH and MLLH scores to evaluateGMMweights applied in past USGS seismic hazard forecasts and to inform weighting of GMMs in future seismic hazard forecasts.




McNamara, D. E., Petersen, M. D., Thompson, E. M., Powers, P. M., Shumway, A. M., Hoover, S. M., … Wolin, E. (2019). Evaluation of ground-motion models for USGS seismic hazard forecasts: Induced and tectonic earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 109(1), 322–335. https://doi.org/10.1785/0120180106

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