Thursday, 31 July 2014

CRUST: Cascading Risk and Uncertainty assessment of earthquake Shaking and Tsunami

Bristol University's Faculty of Engineering have developed an interesting project on earthquakes and triggered tsunamis. The project is called CRUST: Cascading Risk and Uncertainty assessment of earthquake Shaking and Tsunami. I am looking forward to following the research outputs from this project.

The following extract is from Bristol University's Faculty news pages:

Building resilient infrastructure/communities against extremely large earthquakes is a global and urgent problem in active seismic regions. Economic consequences of natural catastrophes have become so devastating, reaching hundreds of billions of pounds in loss, and numerous mega-thrust events are anticipated to occur near vulnerable megacities around the world. The coordination on multiple, inter-related geophysical hazards (e.g. ground shaking and tsunami), analyses of which have been historically undertaken in a disintegrated manner, is needed. Although uncertainty is ubiquitous in natural hazards, treatment of uncertainty in risk assessment is fragmented. Improving the scientific understanding of hazard processes is crucial to better risk forecasting.

CRUST (Cascading Risk and Uncertainty assessment of earthquake Shaking and Tsunami) tackles the global challenge of modelling cascading hazards due to mega-thrust subduction earthquakes by developing a novel methodology for multi-hazards risk assessment from a holistic standpoint and by promoting dynamic and informed decision-making processes for catastrophe risk management. The scientific innovation of the CRUST project lies in a coherent treatment of risk and uncertainty related to compounding risks due to mainshock ground shaking, massive tsunami, and prolific aftershocks acting on coastal infrastructure. Creating a blueprint of the methodology and demonstrating it for several seismic regions are the goals of this project.

Specifically, the research objectives of CRUST are fivefold: (1) to develop an integrated multi-hazards impact assessment methodology for cascading earthquake-related phenomena (i.e. mainshock followed by tsunami and multiple aftershocks); (2) to characterise earthquake slips for future mega-thrust earthquakes as random field, and to evaluate the impact of uncertain slips on strong motion and tsunami simulations; (3) to model a sequence of mainshock-aftershock earthquake records based on actual observations, and to assess their combined effects on nonlinear structural response; (4) to model off-shore tsunami generation and propagation, to characterise tsunami fragility based on numerical simulations, and to validate these with a unique set of experimental data and field observations for the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami; and (5) to develop practice-oriented engineering guidelines and tools for multi-hazards impact assessment, and to demonstrate their capabilities by applying them to other subduction zones, such as the Hikurangi (New Zealand) and Cascadia (Canada) zones.

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