Risk-Targeted versus Current Seismic Design Maps for the Conterminous United States

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The probabilistic portions of the seismic design maps in the NEHRP Provisions (FEMA, 2003/2000/1997), and in the International Building Code (ICC, 2006/2003/2000) and ASCE Standard 7-05 (ASCE, 2005a), provide ground motion values from the USGS that have a 2% probability of being exceeded in 50 years. Under the assumption that the capacity against collapse of structures designed for these "uniformhazard" ground motions is equal to, without uncertainty, the corresponding mapped value at the location of the structure, the probability of its collapse in 50 years is also uniform. This is not the case however, when it is recognized that there is, in fact, uncertainty in the structural capacity. In that case, siteto-site variability in the shape of ground motion hazard curves results in a lack of uniformity. This paper explains the basis for proposed adjustments to the uniform-hazard portions of the seismic design maps currently in the NEHRP Provisions that result in uniform estimated collapse probability. For seismic design of nuclear facilities, analogous but specialized adjustments have recently been defined in ASCE Standard 43-05 (ASCE, 2005b). In support of the 2009 update of the NEHRP Provisions currently being conducted by the Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC), herein we provide examples of the adjusted ground motions for a selected target collapse probability (or target risk). Relative to the probabilistic MCE ground motions currently in the NEHRP Provisions, the risk-targeted ground motions for design are smaller (by as much as about 30%) in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, near Charleston, South Carolina, and in the coastal region of Oregon, with relatively little (<15%) change almost everywhere else in the conterminous U.S.

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Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Conference publication
Risk-Targeted versus Current Seismic Design Maps for the Conterminous United States
Year Published:
Structural Engineers Association of California
Contributing office(s):
Geologic Hazards Science Center
13 p.
United States