Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand collaborate on seismic hazard models

October 18, 2016

In Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand, one of the largest driving forces behind earthquakes is the active convergence of tectonic plates at rates of four to eight centimeters per year. The plate boundaries in each region are complex throughout the length of each plate margin. Destructive earthquakes like the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Canterbury Earthquake Sequence in New Zealand that began in 2010, and the 2016 Meinong, Taiwan earthquake caused significant loss of life and billions of dollars in property damage, making it essential that these countries refine their seismic hazard models to prepare for future earthquakes.

Since 2014, research groups in these regions have been collaborating on research topics and sharing expertise to help develop national seismic hazard models. In a focus section published October 19 in Seismological Research Letters, the scientists describe their work for the Joint Japan-Taiwan-New Zealand National Seismic Hazard Model Collaboration.

The eight papers in the section discuss the different modeling approaches taken by each country, and the primary audiences for the resulting seismic hazard models--from governments who enforce building codes to insurers and energy and manufacturing industries. The section is edited by seismologists Matthew Gerstenberger and Bill Fry at GNS Science, New Zealand.

"By combining our efforts we are able to benefit from this experience to make what will hopefully be substantial improvements in the seismic hazard models for each region," Gerstenberger and Fry write in the preface to the focus section.

Topics in the eight papers of the focus section include:

Seismological Society of America

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