Building Bridges: What earthquake engineers and earth scientists can gain from each other

Douglas, J. (Invited speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Engineering seismology is the bridge between earth science and earthquake engineering. It is often seen as a one-way bridge: to build safe structures, earthquake engineers require an assessment of the characteristics (e.g. amplitude and frequency of occurrence) of the shaking that could be experienced by the structure during its lifetime. Providing such information relies heavily on knowledge and data collected by earth scientists, such as the locations of active faults, instrumental earthquake catalogues and the geology underlying the site of interest. There is much to be gained by both communities, however, by also considering what earth science can learn from earthquake engineering. In this talk, based on research and projects conducted by myself and others, I will discuss the ways in which earth science and earthquake engineering interact. The procedure of modern seismic hazard assessment will be described and illustrated by recent studies. Then I will present ways in which earth scientists can gain by working closely with engineers. Through this, I will argue that better links between these communities will lead to an improved understanding of earthquakes, both from a scientific point of view and from their potential impact on the built environment.
Period19 Apr 2016
Held atUniversity of Bristol, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • engineering seismology
  • seismic hazard
  • earthquake engineering
  • earth science
  • civil engineering