Abstract

Probabilistic calculation of regional seismic hazard maps also requires the use of the so-called “attenuation relations,” which give the reference “shake-ability” at certain distances from the earthquake sources. This article achieves progress in this area. In fact, the present tests on a series of earthquakes in California (San Fernando, 1971; Whittier Narrows, 1987; Northridge, 1994) suggest that in some regions the areal shapes of the territories damaged by past earthquakes may be synthetically traced—sometimes amazingly well—with a simple algorithm that considers some gross features of the sources, and this is compatible with theory. It seems that this algorithm gives rather stable results. Moreover, when the detailed modeling techniques available nowadays are inapplicable due to lack of data, or for purpose of saving time and money, it might be useable for improving seismic hazard calculations and, conversely, for retrieving information about sources of earthquakes from the preinstrumental era.

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