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TitleRegional seismic hazard assessment for small urban centers in Western Canada
AuthorMolnar, S; Ventura, C; Finn, W D L; Crow, HORCID logo; Stokes, T; Lapcevic, P; Paradis, DORCID logo
SourceNCEE 2014 - 10th U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Frontiers of Earthquake Engineering, proceedings; 2014.
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20182512
PublisherEarthquake Engineering Research Institute
Mediapaper; digital
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience
AbstractSeismic hazard assessment studies in western Canada have been conducted primarily for the largest urban centres, e.g. Vancouver and Victoria. A lack of shear-wave velocity (VS) information for the major Quaternary geological units in central Vancouver Island has hindered any efforts to provide a more regional-scale seismic hazard assessment. Cooperation between Vancouver Island University (VIU), the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), and the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) has resulted in preliminary seismic characterization studies for the region. As part of a ground-water characterization program by the RDN and GSC, an extensive seismic reflection survey over 45 km was used to select three locations for borehole drilling (coring and well installation) and downhole geophysics including direct measurement of VS along the wells. Concurrently, VIU and UBC performed an initial urban seismic microzonation study around Greater Nanaimo which included widespread low-cost ambient vibration testing combined with the digitizing and updating of surficial geological maps. Information is presented on the VS testing performed by the GSC and UBC at the three specific borehole sites. Verification of lower-cost surface ambient vibration array testing to provide accurate VS estimates in comparison to higher-cost but direct downhole measurements is important for seismic hazard assessment studies in small urban centres. Determination of the average VS of the Quaternary geological units in the region will enable use of the widespread seismic reflection and lower-cost ambient vibration testing data to provide accurate depth to bedrock that is important for seismic hazard categorization according to the National Building Code of Canada.

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