We develop candidate hybrid models representing the spatial distribution of earthquake occurrence in New Zealand over the next 100 yr. These models are used within the onshore/near‐shore, shallow component of the distributed seismicity model within the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model 2022. They combine a variety of spatially gridded covariates based on smoothed seismicity, strain rates, and proximity to mapped faults and plate boundaries in both multiplicative and additive hybrids. They were optimized against a standardized catalog of New Zealand earthquakes with magnitude M ≥ 4.95 and hypocentral depth ≤40 km from 1951 to 2020. We extract smoothed seismicity covariates using three different methods. The additive models are linear combinations of earthquake likelihood models derived from individual covariates. We choose three preferred hybrid models based on the information gain statistics, consideration of the ongoing Canterbury sequence and regions of low seismicity, and inclusion of the most informative covariates. Since the hazard model is designed for the next 100 yr, the preferred hybrid models are also combined with 20‐year earthquake forecasts from the “Every Earthquake a Precursor According to Scale” model. Thus, in total, six hybrid spatial distribution candidates are advanced for sensitivity analyses and expert elicitation for inclusion in the final logic tree for the New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model.

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