Data product National Seismic Hazard Assessment (NSHA)
Defining Australia’s earthquake hazard
The NSHA defines variations in the level of earthquake ground shaking hazard across Australia. Having access to this data allows higher hazard areas to be identified, so mitigation strategies can be developed for at-risk communities, making them more resilient to seismic events.
Introducing the NSHA
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The NSHA provides an improved understanding of the seismic hazard and its uncertainties for Australia, allowing communities to be better prepared for earthquake events.
Who is the NSHA for?
The NSHA provides essential evidence-based information to emergency managers, governments and the engineering sector to help them prepare for, mitigate against and respond to earthquake disasters.
Members of the insurance industry use the NSHA to better understand earthquake risk when pricing insurance and reinsurance premiums.
Emergency professionals use NSHA data when developing disaster management and evacuation plans, helping to reduce earthquake threat levels and improve community safety.
Australian Standards use seismic hazard information to ensure all applicable new buildings and infrastructure are built to withstand likely earthquake ground motions. It also informs investment decisions for the retrofit of existing and historic buildings.
How the NSHA works
It uses Australian-specific formulas to revise historical earthquake magnitudes, leading to a reduction in hazard values in many Australian locations.
It quantifies the uncertainty of seismic hazard estimates to enable scientists, engineers and decision makers to explore the boundaries of the earthquake hazard and design risk mitigation efforts accordingly.
The combination of new data and scientific advances conforms with global best practice for undertaking national-scale earthquake hazard assessments.
Good to know
The science incorporated into the NSHA is state of the art and world leading. It had ongoing scientific review from distinguished international experts in Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United States.
Geoscience Australia updates the NSHA on a regular basis. This allows the Australian Standards Committee to consider any changes in our understanding of seismic hazard in Australia based on the best available science, and decide whether the Standard needs to be amended to reflect this.
Geoscience Australia will continue to update the NSHA, as we recognise the importance of incorporating best practice and evidence-based science to keep Australian communities as safe as possible from earthquake events. We still have a lot to learn about earthquake hazard in Australia, but the field of science and technology is constantly evolving and improving, and the NSHA will continue to reflect these advancements.
Case study Retrofitting Melbourne’s buildings to withstand earthquakes
How Geoscience Australia demonstrated the effectiveness of a mitigation program against building-related earthquake risk.
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