Earthquake Risk and Engineering towards a Resilient World

9 - 10 July 2015, Homerton College, Cambridge, UK


SECED 2015 was a two-day conference on Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics that took place on 9-10th July 2015 at Homerton College, Cambridge.

This was the first major conference to be held in the UK on this topic since SECED hosted the 2002 European Conference on Earthquake Engineering in London.

The conference brought together experts from a broad range of disciplines, including structural engineering, nuclear engineering, seismology, geology, geotechnical engineering, urban development, social sciences, business and insurance; all focused on risk, mitigation and recovery.

Conference themes

  • Geotechnical earthquake engineering
  • Seismic design for nuclear facilities
  • Seismic hazard and engineering seismology
  • Masonry structures
  • Risk and catastrophe modelling
  • Vibrations, blast and civil engineering dynamics
  • Dams and hydropower
  • Seismic assessment and retrofit of engineered and non-engineered structures
  • Social impacts and community recovery

Keynote speakers

SECED 2015 featured the following keynote speakers (affiliations correct at the time of the conference):

  • Peter Ford and Tim Allmark, Office for Nuclear Regulation, UK
  • Don Anderson, CH2M HILL, Seattle, USA
  • Bernard Dost, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands
  • Anne Kiremidjian, Stanford University, USA
  • Rob May, Golder Associates, Australia
  • Tiziana Rossetto, University College London, UK
  • Andrew Whittaker, University at Buffalo, USA
  • Mike Willford, Arup, The Netherlands

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In this study, a seismogenic source zone model for the Algeria-Morocco region is proposed for seismic forecasting and seismic hazard studies. The delineation includes five zones based on available seismic and geological data. The zone model includes the Moroccan Meseta, the Rif, the Tell zone, the High Plateaux and the Atlas zone. Earthquake occurrence process in this region is modelled and analyzed using recent and updated earthquake catalogs for northern Morocco and northern Algeria compiled in former studies (Peláez et al. 2007; Hamdache et al. 2010). For these catalogues, dependent events were identified and removed by adapting Gardner and Knopoff declustering procedure to the characteristics of the study region. Magnitudes of completeness were estimated using different methods, then the Poissonian character of the obtained sub-catalogs was analyzed. The b-value of the Gutenberg-Richter recurrence relationship, considered as an area-specific seismic hazard parameter, was initially computed using the Weichert (1980) approach.

In order to characterize each seismogenic zone we have used a new parameter named seismic activity, defined as the number of earthquakes with magnitude above Mw 4.0 in each seismogenic zone since 1925 by each 10 years and 10000 km2. The obtained results show for example, in the Tell zone, the seismic activity is equal to 2.6 and 1.91 in the Rif region. The b-value estimation has been improved by using an extension of the Aki-Utsu b-value estimator for incomplete earthquake catalogues (Kijko and Smit, 2012). Taking into account that the maximum possible magnitude is an important parameter required by earthquake engineering community, disaster management agencies and insurance industry, a detailed analysis has been performed using different statistical methods, free from subjective assumptions and only related to the quality of the earthquake data file. Thus, the maximum possible magnitude, using parametric and non-parametric procedures, is analyzed at each seismogenic zone and its probability distribution function is derived. Then, we derive the activity rate λ (m) for events above the magnitude m, the return period for different magnitudes and the probability of exceeding a magnitude m during a time period of T years. The analysis has been performed at each seismogenic zone of the proposed model.

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