UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Alexandra Tsioulou

Validation of simulated ground motions for catastrophe risk engineering

My research project focuses on the use of simulated ground motions for catastrophe risk engineering. Simulated ground motion signals are used in seismic risk assessment to assess the structural response and induced damage to buildings within the Performance-based Earthquake Engineering framework. The existing ground motion simulation methods can be broadly grouped into physics-based and stochastic-process-based. The first part of my research focuses on the engineering validation of physics-based ground motion simulations produced by seismologists in terms of induced building damage using statistical hypothesis testing and information theory-based validation approaches. The second part focuses on the development of a computationally efficient framework to produce stochastic ground motion simulations using an existing model that match the prescribed hazard for a specific site and structure of interest. The hazard can be quantified through Ground Motion Prediction Equations (GMPEs), which for a specific earthquake scenario provide information about the conditional mean and the dispersion of the spectral accelerations. The developed computational framework is set as an optimisation problem and relies on kriging surrogate modelling to be efficiently solved.