Use of Ground Motion Simulations of a Historical Earthquake for the Assessment of Past and Future Urban Risks

Çelik A., Karimzadeh S., Askan Gündoğan A.

36th General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission (ESC 2018) , Valletta, Malta, 2 - 08 September 2018, pp.615

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Valletta
  • Country: Malta
  • Page Numbers: pp.615
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Erzincan city located in the Eastern part of Turkey at the conjunction of three active faults is one of the most hazardous regions in the world. In addition to several historical events, this city has experienced one of the largest earthquakes during the last century: The 27 December 1939 (Ms=8.0) event. With limited knowledge of the tectonic structure by then, the city center was relocated to the North after the 1939 event by almost 5km, indeed closer to the existing major strike slip fault. This decision coupled with poor construction technologies, led to severe damage during a later event that occurred on 13 March 1992 (Mw=6.6). The 1939 earthquake occurred in the preinstrumental era in the region with no available local seismograms whereas the 1992 event was only recorded by 3 nearby stations. There are empirical isoseismal maps from both events indicating indirectly the spatial distribution of the damage. In this study, we focus on this region and present a multidisciplinary approach to discuss the different components of uncertainties involved in the assessment and mitigation of seismic risk in urban areas. For this initial attempt, ground motion simulation of the 1939 event is performed to obtain the anticipated groundmotions and shaking intensities. Using these quantified results along with the spatial distribution of the observed damage, the relocation decision is assessed and suggestions are provided for future large earthquakes to minimize potential earthquake risks.

KEYWORDS: Risk, Uncertainty, Historical Earthquake, The 1939 Erzincan, Ground motion simulation