Comparing predicted and observed ground motions from subduction earthquakes in the Lesser Antilles

John Douglas, Rosemarie Mohais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


This brief article presents a quantitative analysis of the ability of eight published empirical ground-motion prediction equations (GMPEs) for subduction earthquakes (interface and intraslab) to estimate observed earthquake ground motions on the islands of the Lesser Antilles (specifically Guadeloupe, Martinique, Trinidad, and Dominica). In total, over 300 records from 22 earthquakes from various seismic networks are used within the analysis. It is found that most of the GMPEs tested perform poorly, which is mainly due to a larger variability in the observed ground motions than predicted by the GMPEs, although two recent GMPEs derived using Japanese strong-motion data provide reasonably good predictions. Analyzing separately the interface and intraslab events does not significant modify the results. Therefore, it is concluded that seismic hazard assessments for this region should use a variety of GMPEs in order to capture this large epistemic uncertainty in earthquake ground-motion prediction for the Lesser Antilles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-587
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Seismology
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2009
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • ground-motion prediction equations
  • Lesser Antilles
  • strong-motion data
  • subduction earthquakes


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