Strong ground acceleration seismic hazard in Greece and neighboring regions

Paul W. Burton*, Yebang Xu, G. Akis Tselentis, Ethimios Sokos, Willy Aspinall

*Corresponding author for this work

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

24 Citations (Scopus)


In an early paper [Tectonophysics 117 (1985) 259] seismic hazard in Greece was analyzed using a relatively homogeneous earthquake catalogue spanning 1900-1978 and a strong motion attenuation relationship adapted to use in Greece. Improved seismic hazard analyses are obtained here using Gumbel's asymptotic extreme value distribution applied to peak horizontal ground acceleration occurrence, but now taking into account the increased length and quality of earthquake catalogue data spanning 1900-1999 and the burgeoning information on earthquake strong motion data and attenuation relationships appropriate for Europe and, explicitly, Greece. Seismic acceleration hazard results tabulated for six cities reveal (e.g. using arbitrarily the 50-year p.g.a. with 90% probability of not being exceeded) changes of about 10% in the new calculated values: two cities show an increase and four a decrease. These are relatively small and reassuring adjustments. Inspection of the available attenuation relationships leads to a preference for the models of Theodulidis and Papazachos, particularly with the model modification to produce a 'stiff soil' site relationship, as these relationships explicitly exploit the Greek strong motion database. Isoacceleration maps are produced for Greece as a whole from each attenuation relationship inspected. The final set of maps based on the Theodulidis and Papazachos models provide a foundation for comparison with the Seismic Hazard Zones adopted in the New Greek Seismic Code where scope can be found to modify zone shape and the level at which p.g.a.s are set. It should be noted that the generation of the present isoacceleration maps is based on a seismogenic zone-free methodology, independent of any Euclidean zoning assumptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-181
Number of pages23
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


  • Greece
  • Peak ground acceleration
  • Seismic hazard
  • Strong ground motion


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