Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-422
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
18 Jan 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Earthquakes on the surface: earthquake location and area based on more than 14500 ShakeMaps
Stephanie Lackner Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544, USA
Abstract. Earthquake impacts are an inherently interdisciplinary topic that receives attention from many disciplines. The natural hazard of strong ground motion is the reason why earthquakes are of interest to others than seismologists. However, earthquake shaking data often receives too little attention by the general public and impact research in the social sciences. The vocabulary used to discuss earthquakes has mostly evolved within and for the discipline of seismology. Earthquake communication outside of seismology thus often uses suboptimal concepts that are not of primary concern. This study provides new theoretic concepts as well as novel quantitative data analysis based on shaking data. A dataset of relevant global earthquake ground shaking from 1960 to 2016 based on USGS ShakeMap data has been constructed and applied. Two new definitions of earthquake location (the shaking center and the shaking centroid) based on ground motion parameters are introduced and compared to the epicenter. Furthermore, the first global quantitative analysis on the size of the area that is on average exposed to strong ground motion – measured by peak ground acceleration (PGA) – is provided.

Citation: Lackner, S.: Earthquakes on the surface: earthquake location and area based on more than 14500 ShakeMaps, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-422, in review, 2018.
Stephanie Lackner
Stephanie Lackner
Stephanie Lackner

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Short summary
Earthquakes are commonly discussed with the help of vocabulary and concepts that were developed by seismology. However, their application outside of seismology is often subotimal. This study constructs a comprehensive dataset of global strong ground motion data to define new concepts of earthquake location as well as strong shaking area. These concepts can help to facilitate a more effective communication of the natural hazard of earthquakes that is focused on surface shaking.
Earthquakes are commonly discussed with the help of vocabulary and concepts that were developed...
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