Conference Paper

New Tools to Determine Seismic Hazard and Other Seismic Parameters for the United States

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The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has completed new probabilistic seismic hazard maps for the United States. The maps depict peak horizontal ground acceleration, and 0.2, 0.3, and 1.0 sec response spectral acceleration values for 10%, 5%, and 2% probabilities of exceedance in 50 years (corresponding to approximate return times of 500, 1000, and 2500 years, respectively). The maps for the 0.2 sec and 1.0 sec response spectral acceleration with a 2% probability exceedance in 50 years, modified by engineering judgement, are the basis for seismic design maps developed for the 1997 NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings. The USGS team preparing the new maps made a concentrated effort to make as much of the data used available via our Internet Website. This includes documentation, input data, output data, and computer code used to calculate the maps. In addition two CDROMs have been prepared - one for the probabilistic maps and one for the seismic design maps. Paper maps are also available.

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This paper examines the question of which sources of uncertainty most strongly affect the repair cost of a building in a future earthquake. Uncertainties examined here include spectral acceleration, ground-motion details, mass, damping, structural force-deformation behavior, building-component fragility, contractor costs, and the contractor's overhead and profit. We measure the variation (or swing) of the repair cost when each basic input variable except one is taken at its median value, and the remaining variable is taken at its 10th and at its 90th percentile. We perform this study using a 1960s highrise nonductile reinforced-concrete moment-frame building. Repair costs are estimated using the assembly-based vulnerability (ABV) method. We find that the top three contributors to uncertainty are assembly capacity (the structural response at which a component exceeds some damage state), shaking intensity (measured here in terms of damped elastic spectral acceleration, Sa), and details of the ground motion with a given Sa.
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