Seismicity and earthquake hazard in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies

J. B. Shepherd*, W. P. Aspinall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The two‐island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the eastern Caribbean has enjoyed increased physical and industrial development in recent years; however, these islands have been subjected to damaging earthquakes during their history and an up‐to‐date risk assessment is needed. We examine two approaches to quantifying this problem: (a) the risk estimated probabilistically using recent instrumental data and (b) the hazard inferred from regional tectonic movements. The probabilistic approach indicates that peak ground accelerations with a probability of exceedance of 10 per cent in 50 years could range from 0–23g in Tobago to 0–36g in North‐West Trinidad. Tectonic considerations suggest that a maximum‐moment earthquake occurring directly under either land mass could generate accelerations as high as 0–6g; the probability of occurrence of such an event is estimated to be about 2 per cent in 50 years for Trinidad and about a tenth this risk for Tobago. This level of hazard would be significant for critical facilities such as LNG plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-250
Number of pages22
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1983

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Seismicity and earthquake hazard in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this