A Case Study of the Spatial Distribution of Seismic Hazard (El Salvador)
Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 18, Number 2, September 1998 , pp. 145-166(22)
Abstract:The republic of El Salvador in Central America is an area of high seismic hazard where at least twelve destructive earthquakes have occurred this century alone. The principal sources of seismic hazard are earthquakes associated with the subduction of the Cocos plate in the Middle America Trench and upper-crustal earthquakes in the chain of Quaternary volcanoes that runs across the country parallel to the subduction trench. Hazard assessments for Central America have suggested almost uniform distribution of hazard throughout El Salvador. Seismic zonations for three successive building codes in El Salvador simply divide the country into two regions, with the higher hazard zone containing the volcanoes and the coastal areas. Historical records suggest that the greatest hazard is posed by the upper-crustal earthquakes concentrated on the volcanic centres which, although of smaller magnitude than the subduction events, are generally of shallow focus and coincide with the main population centres. These earthquakes have repeatedly caused intense damage over small areas in the vicinity of some of the main volcanoes. This study focuses on El Salvador to explore the capability of different approaches to hazard assessment to reflect significant variations of seismic hazard within small geographical areas. In the study, three `zone-free' methods are employed as well as the Cornell–McGuire approach. The results of the assessments are compared and their implications for seismic zoning for construction and insurance purposes are discussed.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Author for correspondence 2: EQE International Ltd., 500 Longbarn Boulevard, Birchwood, Warrington WA2 0XF, U.K 3: Dpto. Mecánica Estructural, Universidad Centroamericana, San Salvador, El Salvador 4: Civil and Environmental Eng. Dept., Imperial College, London SW7 2BU, U.K., e-mail: email@example.com 5: EQE International Ltd., The Bowring Building, Tower Place, London EC3P 3BE, U.K
Publication date: 1998-09-01