From Seismic Scenarios to Earthquake Risk Assessment: A Case Study for Iquique, Chile.
Abstract:Iquique is a strategic city and economic center in northern Chile, and is located in a large seismic gap where a megathrust earthquake and tsunami is expected. Although it was hit by a Mw 8.2 earthquake on April 1st 2014, which caused moderate damage, geophysical evidence still suggests that there is potential for a larger event, so a thorough risk assessment is key to understand the physical, social, and economic effects of such potential event, and devise appropriate mitigation plans. Hence, Iquique has been selected as a prime study case for the implementation of a risk assessment platform in Chile.
Our study integrates research on three main elements of risk calculations: hazard evaluation, exposure model, and physical vulnerabilities. To characterize the hazard field, a set of synthetic seismic scenarios have been developed based on plate interlocking and the residual slip potential that results from subtracting the slip occurred during the April 1st 2014 rupture fault mechanism, obtained using InSAR+GPS inversion. Additional scenarios were developed based of the fault rupture model of the Maule 2010 Mw 8.8 earthquake and on the local plate locking models in northern Chile. These rupture models define a collection of possible realizations of earthquake geometries parameterized in terms of critical variables like slip magnitude, rise time, mean propagation velocity, directivity, and other, which are propagated to obtain a hazard map for Iquique (e.g. PGA, PGV, PDG).
Furthermore, a large body of public and local data was used to construct a detailed exposure model for Iquique, including aggregated building count, demographics, essential facilities, and lifelines. This model together with the PGA maps for the April 1st 2014 earthquake are used to calibrate HAZUS outputs against observed damage, and adjust the fragility curves of physical systems according to more detailed analyses of typical Chilean building types and their structural properties, plus historical empirical building data. As a result, we were able to perform a deterministic seismic risk assessment for the collection of scenarios we have generated, and thus estimate their expected impact on the built environment and indirectly on the population. This enables us to evaluate the effect of different technical and social mitigation measures in the future.