Honors College Thesis


Statistical methods for assessing the likelihoods of fault rupture scenarios in earthquakes Public Deposited

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  • Earthquake rupture scenarios are important tools for understanding the nature of plate movement and patterns in seismic activity. The creation and assessment of these rupture scenarios rely heavily on geologic reasoning and principles applied to earthquake event data. This reliance introduces a certain amount of subjectivity to the rupture scenario creation process. In this study I explore quantitative statistical methods of rupture scenario assessment that provide objective tools for examination of data and help with a better understanding of the relationship between collected age data and correlation of earthquake chronologies at sites along faults. Four statistical methods of rupture scenario assessment are used with available data on the known 1700 Cascadia event. All statistical methods used are sensitive to data type and quality. The four methods, radiocarbon normal curve overlap, calibration of radiocarbon dates, heat mapping, and modification of the calibration curve prove helpful in examining age data objectively. The methods improve the understanding of the relationship between statistical theory, geologic data, and the relative strengths of rupture scenarios. Ultimately, the combination of statistical methodology and geologic reasoning yield the most accurate rupture scenarios. Keywords: rupture scenario, statistical method, data collection, radiocarbon, geologic reasoning, carbon calibration, Cascadia
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