• Susan E Hough

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Site response of the Ganges Basin inferred from re-evaluated macroseismic observations from the 1897 Shillong, 1905 Kangra and 1934 Nepal earthquakes

      Susan E Hough Roger Bilham

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      We analyze previously published geodetic data and intensity values for the $M_s = 8.1$ Shillong (1897), $M_s = 7.8$ Kangra (1905), and $M_s = 8.2$ Nepal/Bihar (1934) earthquakes to investigate the rupture zones of these earthquakes as well as the amplification of ground motions throughout the Punjab, Ganges and Brahmaputra valleys. For each earthquake we subtract the observed MSK intensities from a synthetic intensity derived from an inferred planar rupture model of the earthquake, combined with an attenuation function derived from instrumentally recorded earthquakes. The resulting residuals are contoured to identify regions of anomalous intensity caused primarily by local site effects. Observations indicative of liquefaction are treated separately from other indications of shaking severity lest they inflate inferred residual shaking estimates. Despite this precaution we find that intensites are 1–3 units higher near the major rivers, as well as at the edges of the Ganges basin. We find evidence for a post-critical Moho reflection from the 1897 and 1905 earthquakes that raises intensities 1–2 units at distances of the order of 150 km from the rupture zone, and we find that the 1905 earthquake triggered a substantial subsequent earthquake at Dehra Dun, at a distance of approximately 150 km. Four or more 𝑀 = 8 earthquakes are apparently overdue in the region based on seismic moment summation in the past 500 years. Results from the current study permit anticipated intensities in these future earthquakes to be refined to incorporate site effects derived from dense macroseismic data.

    • Preliminary results for a semi-automated quantification of site effects using geomorphometry and ASTER satellite data for Mozambique, Pakistan and Turkey

      Alan Yong Susan E Hough Michael J Abrams Christopher J Wills

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      Estimation of the degree of local seismic wave amplification (site effects) requires precise information about the local site conditions. In many regions of the world, local geologic information is either sparse or is not readily available. Because of this, seismic hazard maps for countries such as Mozambique, Pakistan and Turkey are developed without consideration of site factors and, therefore, do not provide a complete assessment of future hazards. Where local geologic information is available, details on the traditional maps often lack the precision (better than 1:10,000 scale) or the level of information required for modern seismic microzonation requirements. We use high-resolution (1:50,000) satellite imagery and newly developed image analysis methods to begin addressing this problem. Our imagery, consisting of optical data and digital elevation models (DEMs), is recorded from the ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) sensor system. We apply a semi-automated, object-oriented, multi-resolution feature segmentation method to identify and extract local terrain features. Then we classify the terrain types into mountain, piedmont and basin units using geomorphometry (topographic slope) as our parameter. Next, on the basis of the site classification schemes from the Wills and Silva (1998) study and the Wills et al (2000) and Wills and Clahan (2006) maps of California, we assign the local terrain units with $V_s$ 30 (the average seismic shear-wave velocity through the upper 30m of the subsurface) ranges for selected regions in Mozambique, Pakistan and Turkey. We find that the applicability of our site class assignments in each region is a good first-approximation for quantifying local site conditions and that additional work, such as the verification of the terrain’s compositional rigidity, is needed.

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