Earthquake Risks: Hazard Assessment of the City of Santiago de Chile

  • Marco Pilz
  • Stefano Parolai
  • Joachim Zschau
  • Adriana Perez
  • Jaime Campos


Santiago de Chile is located at the top of a deep sedimentary basin close to the active tectonic San Ramón Fault. In the case of rupture, this fault at the eastern edge of the city can generate earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 7.1. As seen in past earthquakes, the soil characteristics within the Santiago basin change the level of seismic hazard, since they heavily modify the level of ground shaking over short distances. This chapter takes a closer look at the relationship between these parameters and their influence on local site conditions. The methodology it presents to provide a rough estimate of the seismic hazard combines a high resolution map of the fundamental resonance frequency of the soil and a 3D shear wave velocity model for the northern part of the city. By comparing the results with mapped intensities of recent events, the chapter estimates the areas of the city that are more endangered and recommends a more thorough investigation for these parts of the basin. Although the findings cannot be generalized for all possible earthquakes affecting the city, it concludes with some practical recommendations such as retrofitting the existing building stock in areas particularly under threat of seismic hazard.


Earthquakes Fundamental resonance frequency Microzonation Soil parameters Velocity model 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Pilz
    • 1
  • Stefano Parolai
    • 1
  • Joachim Zschau
    • 1
  • Adriana Perez
    • 1
  • Jaime Campos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department 2 Physics of the EarthHelmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for GeosciencesPotsdamGermany

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