Consistency of Seismicity and Ground Motion Modelling with the Canterbury Earthquakes
This paper examines the consistency of seismicity and ground motion models, used for seismic hazard analysis in New Zealand, with the observations in the Canterbury earthquakes. An overview is first given of seismicity and ground motion modelling as inputs of probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, whose results form the basis for elastic response spectra in NZS1170.5:2004. The magnitude of earthquakes in the Canterbury earthquake sequence are adequately allowed for in the current NZ seismicity model, however the consideration of ‘background’ earthquakes as point sources at a minimum depth of 10km results in up to a 60% underestimation of the ground motions that such events produce. The ground motion model used in conventional NZ seismic hazard analysis is shown to provide biased predictions of response spectra (over-prediction near T=0.2s , and under-predictions at moderate-to-large vibration periods). Improved ground motion prediction can be achieved using more recent NZ-specific models.