Sep 6 – 8, 2023
Universidad Católica del Norte
America/Santiago timezone

WASHRA Program

Workshop on Advances in Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment
(WASHRA 2023)

Thursday, September 07, 2023 
08:00 - 13:00 [Chilean Continental Time]

Final Program

Organized by:


Department of Computing and Systems Engineering

Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile


Dr. Ranjit Das [] & Dr. Claudio Meneses [] , UCN, Chile.

Dr. Prof. H.R.Wason is Ex- Emeritus Fellow (Former Prof. & Head)
Earthquake Engineering Department, IIT Roorkee & Former President, ISET Roorkee - 247 667 (INDIA). Email:

Date & Time:

Thursday September 07, 2023. 08:00 - 13:00 hrs. [Chilean Continental Time]


K-120 A

Link Webinar:






The "Advanced Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment" workshop is a captivating and comprehensive gathering of experts, exploring diverse aspects of earthquake analysis and mitigation. The event encompasses a broad spectrum of topics, spanning seismicity of different parts of the world including Chile, Ecuador, Himalayan region. The symposium underscores the significance of advanced methodologies, including physics-based models, in enhancing seismic hazard assessments. Invited speakers will also contemplate the current state of seismic hazard evaluation and chart a visionary course for the future. This captivating forum fosters collaboration and knowledge-sharing, propelling the field towards more resilient communities worldwide. By intertwining regional case studies and cutting-edge methodologies, the workshop promises to inspire breakthroughs in earthquake risk reduction, driving us closer to a safer, better-prepared world.

Invited Speakers:

  • Dr. Sergio Barrientos - Director of the Seismological Society of America and the Federation of Digital Seismographic Networks. Member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior.
  • PhD. J.R.Kayal - Former Deputy Director General (Head. Geophysics) Geological Survey of India, Kolkata, CSIR Emeritus Scientist, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
  • Dr. Andrzej Kijko - Professor and Director. Natural Hazard Centre, Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa. 
  • PhD Raghukanth Stg - Professor. Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Department of Civil Engineering Chennai, India
  • Dr. Gabriel González - Profesor Titular, Depto. Ciencias Geológicas, Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile.
  • Dr. Shushil Gupta - Vice President, Risk Modeling and Insurance, Sustainability, RMSI, India 201301


08.00-08.45 hrs. Invited Talk #1

Himalayan Collision Zone Earthquakes and Seismotectonic Model,  Prof.   J. R. Kayal, Former Deputy Director General (Head. Geophysics) Geological Survey of India, Kolkata

08.45 - 09.30 hrs Invited Talk #2

Assessment of Seismic Hazard - Quo Vadis?, Prof. Andrew Kijko, Director, Natural Hazard Centre, Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa. 

09.30 - 10.15 hrs. Invited Talk #3

Physics based ground motion model in seismic hazard assessment, Prof. S.T.G Raghunath, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Department of Civil Engineering, Chennai, India

10.15 - 11.00 hrs. Invited Talk #4

Permanent Seismic Observation in Chile, Prof. Sergio Barrientos, Director, Seismological Center, University of Chile.

11.00 - 11.30 hrs. COFFEE BREAK

11.30 - 12.15 hrs. Invited Talk #5

What we know about upper plate seismicity in Northern Chile, Prof. Gabriel González, Deputy Director CIGIDEN, Chile

12.15 - 13.00 hrs. Invited Talk #6

Advances in Seismic Risk Assessment: A case study from Jammu and Kashmir, India, Dr.Sushil Gupta, Vice President, Risk Modeling and Insurance, Sustainability, RMSI, India 201301

Invited Talk #1

Thursday, September 07, 2023

08.00 - 08.45 hrs.

Speech Title: Himalayan Collision Zone Earthquakes and Seismotectonic Model

Speaker: PhD. J.R.Kayal

Former Deputy Director General (Head. Geophysics) Geological Survey of India, Kolkata, CSIR Emeritus Scientist, Jadavpur University, Kolkata

Abstract. The Himalayas, the 2500 km long collision zone, produced five great/large (Mw~7.8-8.4) interplate earthquakes that are instrumentally well recorded in recent years, since 1950.   From west to east, these events are the 2005 Kashmir (Mw 7.8), the 1905 Kangra (revised Mw 7.8), the 1934 Bihar-Nepal (revised Mw 8.2), the 1950 Assam (revised Mw 8.4) and most recently the 2015 Nepal earthquakes (Mw 7.8). The best known Himalayan tectonic model suggests that the Indian plate gently dipping below the Himalayas, and shallow (<20 km) earthquakes occur by thrust faulting on the plane of detachment, called the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT), the interface between the Indian plate and the Himalayan sedimentary wedge. The recent well recorded strong earthquakes, particularly the 1988 Bihar-Nepal earthquake (Mw 6.8) and the 2011 Sikkim earthquake (Mw 6.9) in the eastern Himalaya, however, suggest that these events are much deeper (50-60 km) and occurred by strike-slip faulting rather than by thrust faulting on the MHT. Further, the 1950 great Assam earthquake (Mw 8.4) in the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis (EHS), so far the largest event recorded in the Himalayas, also occurred at a deeper depth (~40 km) with strike-slip faulting. Thus, it is argued that each large/great earthquake in the Himalayas is unique in its own tectonic environment; they cannot be explained by a uniform seismotectonic model.

Short Bio.

Professor J. R. Kayal did his M Sc (Applied Geophysics) from the Indian School of Mines (ISM), (now IIT-ISM), Dhanbad in 1969, and Ph D in Seismology from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1983 as a Commonwealth Scholar. After graduation, he joined the Oil & Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) in 1970; then joined the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in December, 1971. He rose to the rank of Deputy Director General (Head, Geophysics) in the GSI and superannuated in November, 2006. During the GSI tenure, he was Adjunct Professor at the IIT, Kharagpur (1994-96) & Tezpur University, Assam (2005-2008), then after superannuation, he was CSIR Emeritus Professor at the Jadavpur University, Kolkata (2007-11), Adjunct Professor at the IIT-ISM, Dhanbad (2007-10), ISR Gandhinagar (2011-18), NIT, Agartala (2014-till date) etc. Prof Kayal had been a visiting Professor to several Universities/Institutes abroad, like Univ. Leeds, UK (1998); Ehime Univ. (2001), University Tokyo (2008), Japan; GFZ, Germany (2008); NRIAG, Egypt (2009); Strasbourg University, France (2011), etc. He has been a Visiting Scientist to various Institutes / Universities abroad since 1995, like in USA, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, France, Cez Rep., Italy, Germany, Austria, Norway, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Philippines etc. He led several international research projects sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India. He is a guest faculty to the UNESCO, ICTP and ASEAN international training courses, and national coordinator / fellow and member of several National and International Scientific Unions and Societies like the IGU (Indian Geophysical Union), AEG (Association of Exploration Geophysicists), AGU (American Geophysical Union), IASPEI (International Association of Seismology & Physics of the Earth’s Interior), IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) etc. He is a member of Advisory/Expert Committee of several national organizations like DST, MoES, CSIR, IIT-ISM, NGRI, WIHG, NHPC, AERB, NPCIL etc. He is author of more than 150 peer reviewed research papers in national and international journals. He is on the editorial board in several international and national journals, and reviewer of almost all international and national journals in Earth Sciences. He presented more than 250 seminar papers, invited and keynote lectures, in India and abroad. He is editor of five books, and author of the Book: Microearthquake Seismology and Seismotectonics of South Asia, published in 2008 by the Springer, The Netherlands and by the Capital Publisher, India. He has been honored with a National Award (Geoscience)-1994 by the Government of India, a Decennial Award-2010 by the Indian Geophysical Union (IGU), and as Fellow by the West Bengal Academy of Science & Technology (WBAST), IGU, AEG and by the New York Academy of Sciences. He is a well known geoscientist of the world and is actively continuing his research and teaching in India and abroad.

Invited Talk #2

Thursday, September 07, 2023

08.45 - 09.30 hrs.

Speech Title: Assessment of Seismic Hazard - Quo Vadis

Speaker: Dr. Andrzej Kijko

Professor and Director. Natural Hazard Centre, Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Abstract. Estimating the ground motion at a particular site is crucial in designing vital structures, such as nuclear power plants, bridges, and dams, and ordinary structures, such as houses and commercial buildings. The process of assessing future earthquake ground motion parameters is called seismic hazard assessment or seismic hazard analysis. Seismic hazard analysis is not new. Cornell introduced it more than 50 years ago in his landmark study in 1968 (Cornell, 1968). The traditional approach in seismic hazard analysis has been deterministic. Deterministic seismic hazard analysis (DSHA) involves an assessment of a single maximum possible magnitude earthquake and its location for the investigated site (SSHAC, 1997). Assuming that each of these earthquakes will occur at the minimum possible distance from the site, the ground motion is calculated using approximate attenuation equations, known as the ground motion model (GMM). The DSHA can be justified, e.g. for a specified fault segment, a fault known to break repeatedly, generating similar size earthquakes (National Research Council, 1988). However, this straightforward and intuitive procedure of seismic hazard analysis is overshadowed by the complexity and uncertainty of selecting the appropriate earthquake scenario. This creates the need for an alternative, probabilistic methodology free from setting an earthquake occurrence scenario. Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) quantifies the rate (or probability) of exceeding various ground motion levels at a site (or sites), from all earthquakes of all possible magnitudes, and at all significant distances from the site of interest (McGuire, 2004). The presentation is dedicated to virtually all aspects of PSHA. It includes a discussion of the concept of seismic hazard, the techniques of seismic hazard assessment, the required input data and information, the estimation of seismic hazard parameters, and the meaning of the final product of hazard analysis  - the hazard curve and its interpretation. Since the currently applied procedures of PSHA are not without controversy, the disputable aspects and future of seismic hazard analysis will also be discussed. 

Short Bio.

Dr Kijko has been active in engineering geophysics and seismology since 1971. His interests and responsibilities have taken him all over the World. He has a wide range of experience due to his various research posts and consulting positions. His principal interests are numerical and computing techniques, data analysis, and applied statistical methods. Dr Kijko has used instrumental observations and historical, paleo- and neotectonic information to develop a methodology for seismic hazard assessment. His knowledge and experience in probabilistic methods apply to many fields in engineering - not just the estimation of seismic hazard and risk. More than 150 of his publications have appeared in academic journals. Dr Kijko is the author of a book on statistical methods in engineering seismology and co authored a book on mining seismology. 

Invited Talk #3

Thursday, September 07, 2023

09.30 - 10.15 hrs.

Speech Title: Physics based ground motion model in seismic hazard assessment

Speaker: PhD Raghukanth Stg

Professor. Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Department of Civil Engineering, Chennai, India

Abstract. Ground motion prediction equations (GMPE) are traditionally used in site specific seismic hazard analysis to obtain design response spectra. These equations are obtained by regression analysis on the available strong motion data in a given tectonic and geological region. Assuming ergodicity, regional GMPE are routinely used in site-specific probabilistic seismic hazard analysis. Since these empirical equations are region specific, However the obtained seismic hazard curves are not specific to the site. Due to lack of data for all possible combinations of magnitude and distances, development of site-specific GMPE is not possible in the near future. The only way to develop a site-specific GMPE is through numerical models. Given a 3D velocity structure, topography and source information these models can simulate site-specific ground motion. Once calibrated with the recorded strong motion data, numerical models can be used to simulate ensemble of ground motions by including the uncertainty in the slip models. In regions lacking strong motion data, these models have an additional advantage compared to GMPE. In the present study, a broad band simulation model is developed for a typical site in peninsular India. Spectral finite element method (SPECFEM) is used to simulate the low frequency ground motion by incorporating the 3D velocity structure in the medium. The high frequency ground motion is simulated from the stochastic seismological model (Otarola and Ruiz, 2016). Statistical kinematic rupture model is used to represent the earthquake source (Dhanya and Raghukanth 2018). The rupture length, width and correlation lengths of the random field are estimated from magnitude. Assuming the phase as random, a total of 30 rupture models are simulated for each magnitude. An ensemble of ground motions is simulated at the site for various possible combinations of faults and magnitudes in a region around 500 km from the site. The simulated low-frequency and high-frequency ground motions are combined in the frequency domain to obtain broadband ground motions (0-100 Hz). The mean and standard deviation of the response spectra are estimated from these simulated motions for all possible combinations of magnitudes and distances at the given site. Further, probabilistic seismic hazard analysis is carried out using the simulated data to obtain hazard curves for spectral accelerations at various natural periods. Uniform hazard response spectra (UHRS) for 475yr and 2475 yr is obtained from the hazard analysis. A comparison with traditional hazard analysis using region specific GMPE is also presented. It is observed that GMPE based UHRS show a smooth trend compared with site-specific UHRS obtained from broad band models. The PGA values obtained from physics based model are slightly higher than that obtained from GMPE based PSHA

Short Bio.

Raghukanth Stg, PhD, is a prominent professor and researcher in the field of seismic engineering and geophysics. He completed his PhD in Seismic Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science and earned a Master's in Stress and Vibration Analysis from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology. He also holds a Bachelor's in Civil Engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Currently, he serves as a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. Throughout his career, he has received recognition and awards for his outstanding contributions to the field of seismic engineering and has published numerous papers and book chapters on the subject.

Invited Talk #4

Thursday, September 07, 2023

10.15 - 11.00 hrs.

Speech Title: Permanent Seismic Observation in Chile

Speaker: Dr. Sergio Barrientos

Director of the Seismological Society of America and the Federation of Digital Seismographic Networks. Member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior.

Abstract. Chile is amongst the most seismically active countries in the world. Not only in terms of the number of events per year but also for the large extent they can reach and the tsunamis they can generate.  When considering the last 100 years, eleven events with a magnitude around 8 or larger have taken place in this region, including several with magnitudes close to 9 and above. Such extreme seismic activity is a result of the interaction of the Nazca, Antarctic, Scotia, and South American plates in southwestern South America, where Chile is located. After the 2010 M 8.8 Maule earthquake, Chile began installing a modern real-time network of digital broadband/strong-motion and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations to better prepare for future and expected large damaging earthquakes. The network was designed to provide fast and accurate estimates of earthquake source parameters of potentially devastating earthquakes for emergency response applications and was also capable of comprehensive characterization of Chilean seismicity necessary for long-term hazard assessment and mitigation activities. Beginning in 2013, the National Seismological Center (CSN) of the University of Chile was mandated by the Chilean government to implement a network of 65 permanent real-time broadband and accelerometer stations together with 130 Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receivers. These integrated sensor systems were designed to provide accurate automatic earthquake locations and magnitudes necessary for tsunami warning and impact assessment. In near-real-time applications, the GPS stations become critical for determination of fault finiteness of M  7 or larger earthquakes. Operations of these systems also provide new insights into long-term deformation and associated spatiotemporal variations in seismicity, which are necessary in long-term earthquake hazards assessment and mitigation. In addition to the real-time system described above, 297 strong motion offline instruments complement the network for engineering purposes. Broadband data in real time is publicly available through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology Data Management Center (IRIS-DMC) under networks C and C1. Strong-motion data for recorded accelerations larger than 2%g are available through the CSN webpage.

Short Bio.

Sergio Barrientos holds a M.Sc. degree in Geophysics from the University of Chile and a Ph.D. Earth Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado and the Southern California Earthquake Studies Center. After being part of the academic body of the University of Chile -for a period of nine years- he held the position of Head of the Seismic Section of the IMS/CTBTO. He currently serves as Director of the Seismological Center of the University of Chile. His main interests and contributions are in the field of seismological observation and crustal deformation associated with the earthquake cycle and seismic source processes.

Invited Talk #5

Thursday, September 07, 2023

11.30 - 12.15 hrs.

Speech Title: What we know about upper plate seismicity in Northern Chile

Speaker: Dr. Gabriel González 

Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta, Chile

Abstract. Por lejos la sismicidad en el margen continental chileno está concentrada en el contacto interplaca dado por la subducción de corteza oceánica por debajo del continente sudamericano. Una bien definida zona de sismicidad continua permite trazar ese contacto hasta profundidades de 700 km progresando en profundidad desde la fosa. Esta es la conocida zona de Wadati-Benioff. De un modo muy menor, existe una sismicidad altamente heterogénea en la corteza continental producto de esfuerzos de corte acumulados en fallas geológicas antiguas que son capaces de generar sismos importantes a profundidades más someras que los sismos que ocurren en la zona de Wadati-Benioff. Particularmente en el norte de Chile según el registro instrumental esta sismicidad cortical es escasa de baja magnitud y altamente heterogénea. En 30 años de registro sísmico son muy escasos los sismos corticales de magnitud de momento superiores a 6.0. Entre ellos se cuenta el sismo de Aroma de 2001 con Mw 6.4, el sismo Mw 6.7 que fue precursor del terremoto de Iquique de 2014 y un sismo 6.3 ocurrido en septiembre de 2020. Estos dos sismos fueron generados por compresión NS, una dirección completamente desviada respecto de la compresión EW generada por la convergencia de placas. En esta charla pasaremos revisión a que procesos explican esta sismicidad y como su conocimiento nos ayudan a mejorar la estimación del riesgo sísmico en el norte de Chile.

Short Bio.

Subdirector de CIGIDEN. Geólogo de la Universidad Católica del Norte y Doktor rer Natur, de la Universidad Libre de Berlín. Actualmente es profesor del Departamento de Ciencias Geológicas de la Universidad Católica del Norte, y se especializa en deformación dúctil, análisis de fallas, interacción entre fallas y morfologías, terremotos y remociones en masa, procesos tectónicos en general, análisis de fallas e interacción entre fallas y morfología.

Ha participado en proyectos internacionales relacionados con el estudio de procesos de deformación en zonas de subducción.

Invited Talk #6

Thursday, September 07, 2023

12.15 - 13.00 hrs.

Speech Title Advances in Seismic Risk Assessment: A case study from Jammu and Kashmir, India

Speaker: Dr. Sushil Gupta

Vice President, Risk Modeling and Insurance, Sustainability, RMSI, India 201301, Email <>

Abstract. Seismic risk assessment is a vital process for evaluating and mitigating the potential impacts of earthquakes on various exposure elements such as buildings, infrastructure and human lives. It involves estimating the probability and intensity of earthquake ground motions, as well as the vulnerability and exposure of the exposed elements. In recent years, significant advances have been made in seismic hazard and risk assessment. Jammu and Kashmir, a region in northern India, is one of the most seismically active regions in the world, and has experienced several devastating earthquakes in the past.  This paper presents some of the recent advances in seismic risk assessment for Jammu and Kashmir with a focus on stochastic hazard assessment, exposure and fragility function development, and seismic risk assessment.   In addition, it also includes a case study of a stochastic scenario earthquake event with a defined return-period, along with its loss scenario for Srinagar city in Jammu and Kashmir region.

Short Bio.

Dr. Gupta has over 31 years of professional experience in the field of catastrophic risk modeling, disaster risks assessment and disaster risk management for natural and manmade hazards. Dr. Gupta has made outstanding contributions in the field of disaster risk assessment for various natural hazards including sectoral impact of climate change for all the 37 countries of South Asia, Central Asia and Caucasus, ASEAN, and the South Eastern Europe. He has developed a tool “Disaster Risks Assessment – A Tool for National Investment Planning”. Through his innovative work published by the World Bank and UNISDR, he has demonstrated how disasters impact countries’ economy. In addition, Dr. Gupta lead a study for APEC nations “Improving public asset and insurance data for Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Solutions”. He is/was deeply involved in several multi-Hazard probabilistic Risk Assessment studies involving developed, developing and least-developing countries that are/were sponsored by the World Bank, UNISDR, UNDP, ADB and various countries’ Governments. Dr. Gupta has been instrumental in developing “Indian Subcontinent Earthquake Risk Model”, which is being used for Insurance and reinsurance industry. Moreover, Dr. Gupta developed a 10 years Techno-Financial Road Map for improving Fire and Emergency Services in India for MHA- NDRF& Civil Defense. He is leading the development of a Web-based system for Cyclone Impact Forecasting for all the 13 coastal States/UTs being operational at IMD, New Delhi and financed by NCRMP, NDMA. 

 Dr. Gupta, an IITian, holds an M. Tech in Applied Geophysics with specialization in Engineering Seismology, executive MBA with specialization in Insurance management, and Ph.D. in Civil (Earthquake) Engineering. He also obtained advance level certificates in the field of DRR with special emphasis on Climate Change from EPFL, Switzerland, and the World Bank Institute, Washington DC and in the field of Earthquake Engineering of Nuclear facilities from ICTP, Trieste, Italy and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. Before joining RMSI in 2007, Dr. Gupta served Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India at its Headquarter, Anushaktinagar, Mumbai for about 15 years as a Deputy Chief Engineer, Stress Analysis and Seismology, Reactor Safety Division; wherein he was deeply involved in the Site Selection for nuclear power plants, aseismic design of nuclear power plants, seismic reevaluation of older nuclear power plants, seismic qualifications of structures, systems and components through shake table testing; Emergency Operating Procedures for SSE and OBE level of earthquake ground motion for nuclear power plants; and prepared response to questions from National Parliament on Seismic Safety of Indian Nuclear Power Plants sites. 

Dr. Gupta has authored more than 75 research papers, 80 reports and co-authored a book “Coping with Climate Change- Principles and Asian Context”, published by Springer. He was one of the “Peer Reviewer of UNISDR Global Assessment Report, 2011” and “UNISDR Expert of Week in 2014 and 2016”. He is recipient of many awards and honors; these include prestigious A.S. Arya – IITR Disaster Prevention Award (2011); FICCI National Award of Innovation in Geospatial Technology (2023); RMSI Kalam Innovation Award (2016); ISET B. N. Gupta Award (1997-2000), RMSI Pen Ultimate Reward (2010, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018). He is elected Fellow of Indian Society of Earthquake Technology and Geological Society of India. Also he is/was an expert member of several professional bodies including Bureau of Indian Standards, Civil and Earthquake Engg (CED39), AERB, NDMA and chaired/co-chaired technical sessions in conferences and delivered several key note lecturers at international level sponsored by the UNISDR and UNESCO.