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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research

Authorization to Direct Research (HDR)

Seismic rupture modelling, strong motion prediction and seismic hazard assessment : fundamental and applied approaches

Catherine Berge-Thierry has defend her HDR on 4th May 2007 in Nice (France).



Jury

J. Virieux, Prof. in the Univ. Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Reporter

P.-Y. Bard, D.R. at LCPC, Reporter

J.-F. Semblat, Prof. at the Ecole Polytech. and LCPC, Reporter

A. Souriau, D.R. at CNRS, Obs. Midi Pyrénées, Examiner

J. Campos, Prof. in the Univ. of Santiago of Chile, Examiner

H. Modaressi, D.R. at BRGM, Examiner



Abstract


The defence to obtain the « Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches » is a synthesis of the research work performed since the end of my Ph D. thesis in 1997. This synthesis covers the two years as post doctoral researcher at the Bureau d’Evaluation des Risques Sismiques at the Institut de Protection (BERSSIN), and the seven consecutive years as seismologist and head of the BERSSIN team. This work and the research project are presented in the framework of the seismic risk topic, and particularly with respect to the seismic hazard assessment.

Seismic risk combines seismic hazard and vulnerability. Vulnerability combines the strength of building structures and the human and economical consequences in case of structural failure. Seismic hazard is usually defined in terms of plausible seismic motion (soil acceleration or velocity) in a site for a given time period. Either for the regulatory context or the structural specificity (conventional structure or high risk construction), seismic hazard assessment needs:
  • to identify and locate the seismic sources (zones or faults),
  • to characterize their activity,
  • to evaluate the seismic motion to which the structure has to resist (including the site effects).

I specialized in the field of numerical strong-motion prediction using high frequency seismic sources modelling and forming part of the IRSN allowed me to rapidly working on the different tasks of seismic hazard assessment. Thanks to the expertise practice and the participation to the regulation evolution (nuclear power plants, conventional and chemical structures), I have been able to work on empirical strong-motion prediction, including site effects. Specific questions related to the interface between seismologists and structural engineers are also presented, especially the quantification of uncertainties. This is part of the research work initiated to improve the selection of the input ground motion in designing or verifying the stability of structures.


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