Exploring the Differences Between the European (SHARE) and the Reference Italian Seismic Hazard Models

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Francesco Visini1, Carlo Meletti1, Vera D'Amico1, Andrea Rovida1 and Massimiliano Stucchi2, (1)National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Rome, Italy, (2)Eucentre, Pavia, Italy
The recent release of the probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) model for Europe by the SHARE project (Giardini et al., 2013, www.share-eu.org) arises questions about the comparison between its results for Italy and the official Italian seismic hazard model (MPS04; Stucchi et al., 2011) adopted by the building code. The goal of such a comparison is identifying the main input elements that produce the differences between the two models. It is worthwhile to remark that each PSHA is realized with data and knowledge available at the time of the release. Therefore, even if a new model provides estimates significantly different from the previous ones that does not mean that old models are wrong, but probably that the current knowledge is strongly changed and improved.

Looking at the hazard maps with 10% probability of exceedance in 50 years (adopted as the standard input in the Italian building code), the SHARE model shows increased expected values with respect to the MPS04 model, up to 70% for PGA. However, looking in detail at all output parameters of both the models, we observe a different behaviour for other spectral accelerations. In fact, for spectral periods greater than 0.3 s, the current reference PSHA for Italy proposes higher values than the SHARE model for many and large areas. This observation suggests that this behaviour could not be due to a different definition of seismic sources and relevant seismicity rates; it mainly seems the result of the adoption of recent ground-motion prediction equations (GMPEs) that estimate higher values for PGA and for accelerations with periods lower than 0.3 s and lower values for higher periods with respect to old GMPEs. Another important set of tests consisted in analysing separately the PSHA results obtained by the three source models adopted in SHARE (i.e., area sources, fault sources with background, and a refined smoothed seismicity model), whereas MPS04 only uses area sources. Results seem to confirm the strong impact of the new generation GMPEs on the seismic hazard estimates.

Giardini D. et al., 2013. Seismic Hazard Harmonization in Europe (SHARE): Online Data Resource, doi:10.12686/SED-00000001-SHARE.

Stucchi M. et al., 2011. Seismic Hazard Assessment (2003-2009) for the Italian Building Code. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 101, 1885–1911.