Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 1281–1301 | Cite as

On the relation between point-wise and multiple-location probabilistic seismic hazard assessments

  • Vladimir SokolovEmail author
  • Friedemann Wenzel
Original Research Paper


The results of classical probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) contain no information about simultaneous ground motions at different sites during a particular earthquake. Seismic risk analysis for distributed critical structures requires estimates of the level of earthquake shaking that are likely to occur concurrently at multiple locations: whether the vulnerable elements of a lifeline system are likely to be simultaneously affected by shaking of sufficient strength to disable them and whether the shaking at any one of critical points may be sufficient to cause failure of the whole system. While the analysis of lifeline performance requires multiple-location estimations, the sparsely located elements of a network or critical facilities are designed on the basis of point-wise PSHA. In this paper we study specific features of multiple-location PSHA, as compared with the classical point-wise PSHA, using Monte Carlo simulations. We analyze the level of ground motion (PGA) that will be exceeded at any site inside a particular area or at several sites simultaneously with reference annual probability. The analysis has been performed for regions of Western and South-Western Germany, Northern and Eastern Taiwan, which represent different levels of seismicity (low, moderate and high, respectively). The relationship between the multiple-location and point-wise estimations are analyzed and quantified. Results of the study may be used to decide whether it may be possible to utilize the procedure of point-wise PSHA in particular cases of multiple-location PSHA, i.e. for assessment of maximum level of ground motion among several sites, or for estimation a reasonable lower safety level when considering simultaneous exceedances.


Multiple-location probabilistic seismic hazard Ground-motion correlation Importance factor 



We would like to thank Wen-Yu Jean, Gottfried Grünthal and Dietrich Stromeyer for providing necessary data used in this study, valuable comments and suggestions. The constructive comments from anonymous reviewers are gratefully acknowledged. This work was sponsored by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Germany, project WE 1394/20-1.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geophysical InstituteKarlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany

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