Seismic Hazard Assessment for Areas of Volcanic Activity in Western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Professional Paper 1862-P
Jointly published with the Saudi Geological Survey [as Saudi Geological Survey Special Report SGS–SP–2021–1]
By: , and 



Earthquake swarms caused by volcanic activity, tectonic stresses, or industrial operations (oil and gas production) can pose considerable risk for nearby settlements. As a rule, a probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (PSHA) that is based on time-independent earthquakes does not take into account earthquake swarms because of their statistically time-dependent nature. We describe the technique and application of a scenario-based method for the estimation of seismic hazard from earthquake swarms that may occur in areas of volcanic activity in western Saudi Arabia. The method consists of the generation of a large number of scenario seismic swarms followed by the calculation of ground motion in a site of interest for all earthquakes in all of the swarms. The set of calculated ground-motion values permits the construction and analysis of probability distribution functions for possible ground-motion levels during the hypothetical earthquake swarms. The level of ground motion representing the hazard is selected considering an appropriate value of the probability of exceedance or non-exceedance, depending on the goal of the study. This swarm-scenario-based seismic hazard assessment may provide a valuable supplement to an ordinary PSHA and (or) deterministic seismic hazard assessment that are commonly used for emergency response and post-earthquake recovery management.

Suggested Citation

Zahran, H.M., Sokolov, V., and Stewart, I.C.F., 2023, Seismic hazard assessment for areas of volcanic activity in western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, chap. P of Sisson, T.W., Calvert, A.T., and Mooney, W.D., eds., Active volcanism on the Arabian Shield—Geology, volcanology, and geophysics of northern Harrat Rahat and vicinity, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1862 [also released as Saudi Geological Survey Special Report SGS–SP–2021–1], 18 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

ISSN: 1044-9612 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Input Data
  • Method of Seismic Hazard Analysis
  • Procedure, Results, and Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Seismic hazard assessment for areas of volcanic activity in western Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1862
Chapter P
DOI 10.3133/pp1862P
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description v, 18 p.
Country Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details