When assessing earthquake hazard and risk, we build seismicity models because the historical record is inadequate. If we had a historical catalog extending back 100,000 years or so, with each event recorded on broadband instruments in the near field, we could assess the long-term average hazard and risk without using a seismicity model. Earthquake hazard assessment would reduce to statistical analyses of the recorded events. We could determine mean rates of occurrence, distributions of likely ground motion, deaggregation of hazard estimates to show the contributions of individual sources, and a host of other variables and products directly from such a...

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