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EERI Monograph Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis

by Robin K. McGuire

This monograph is intended as a general introduction to methods of seismic hazard and risk analysis. Over the past 35 years, great progress has been made in the acceptance and use of probability methods in earthquake problems. A well-informed, if approximate, analysis benefits the decision making process in determining what percentage of resources to put into reducing earthquake dangers, as compared with reducing other types of possible dangers. Potentially large losses justify the significant effort involved in a seismic risk assessment, and a formal assessment allows the disciplines of seismology, geology, strong-motion geophysics, and earthquake engineering to communicate through a common language of best estimates and uncertainties. This book is a compilation of how these disciplines contribute to the evaluation of seismic risk. McGuire fully describes the connection between probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) and seismic risk in a quantitative format. He begins by defining key terms and presents an overview of probabilistic seismic hazard and risk computations to show how all the elements fit together. Then he examines the elements in more detail — how to describe earthquake source characteristics, estimate seismic ground shaking, perform seismic hazard analyses, and estimate seismic risk. While the probability theory in this monograph is not very complex, the reader should (1) know the elements of such theory, (2) be comfortable with probability density functions, cumulative distribution functions, and conditional distributions, and (3) be familiar with seismology, magnitude definitions, and representations of strong ground motion. 2004, 240 pages.

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