COSMOS

COSMOS

Site Characterization Project 2019 Update

The COSMOS International Guidelines Project is an effort that was borne through the consensus of the international site characterization and site response research community. This mixture of for- and non-profit entities is consisted of the most comprehensive collection of practitioners of near-surface geophysics and/or seismic hazards analyses, world-renown key developers of the state-of-practice in geophysical site characterization methods, and research scientists from academic and governmental institutions. On 24 April 2015 in a COSMOS forum convened by COSMOS Board of Directors Alan Yong (USGS), Jamison Steidl (UC Santa Barbara), and Robert Nigbor (GEOVision Inc.), 80+ members of the aforementioned community attended and unanimously decided to form a focus group motivated to facilitate the development of guidelines and address issues relating to aleatoric and epistemic uncertainties, as originated from site characterization and propagated to site response and ground motion analyses. To initiate this effort, the attendees elected Alan Yong as Chair of the COSMOS Site Characterization (SC) Facilitation Committee. Current committee members.

COSMOS has facilitated the development of guidelines since its inception and COSMOS workshops have been an important factor in fostering these important international community efforts. To this end, COSMOS has helped fund the following SC workshops and special sessions at various international conferences. With additional support from Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, the COSMOS SC Facilitation Committee was able to sponsor or co-sponsor the travel costs of many of the key contributors to the guidelines effort. Every effort was expended to coincide (thus, cost-share) the professional conference-related travel itineraries of participants with COSMOS planned activities.

COSMOS Workshops have included:
• April 2015 Pasadena, California (US) discussions on the state-of-the-knowledge and -art in site characterization analyses
• December 2015 San Francisco, California (US) discussions on establishing the members of the international SC Facilitation Committee
• April 2016 Reno, Nevada (US) discussions on establishing topical contents of guidelines from US stakeholders
• September 2016 Trieste (Italy) discussions on establishing topical contents of guidelines from European stakeholders
• January 2017 Santiago (Chile) discussions on establishing topical contents of guidelines from South American stakeholders
• September 2018 Valleta (Malta) discussions on progress of the guidelines development and aleatoric and epistemic uncertainties, as originated from site characterization and propagated to site response and ground motion analyses
• April 2019 Seattle, Washington (US) discussions on guidelines development and refined activities (blind trials) for evaluation of site characterization methods

COSMOS convened/chaired conference-related special sessions were part of the:
• April 2016 Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting, Reno, Nevada, U.S.
• September 2016 35th European Seismological Commission General Assembly, Trieste, Italy
• January 2017 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Santiago, Chile
COSMOS presentations invited by greater international site response and ground motion analysis research communities:
• December 2016 at American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California, U.S.
• April 2017 at Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, U.S.
• January 2018 at Kyoto University lecture on COSMOS SC efforts, Kyoto, Japan
• November 2018 at European Plate Observatory System Observatories and Research Facilities for European Seismology (EPOS-ORFEUS) Annual Meeting, Athens, Greece
• November 2018 at Université of Grenoble-Alpes lecture on COSMOS SC efforts, Grenoble, France; and at Instituto Nacionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Udine, Italy
• December 2018 at Swiss Seismological Service [Schweizerischer Erdbebendienst (SED)] at the Confederate Swiss Technical School [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH)] lecture on COSMOS SC efforts, Zürich, Switzerland
• December 2018 at American Geophysical Union, Washington-District of Columbia, U.S.
• March 2019 at Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe (SERA) Strong Motion Site Characterization Workshop, L’Aquila, Italy

COSMOS planned future activities:
• December 2019—completion of instruction sets drafted by original developers of the state-of-the-practice geophysical site characterization techniques and field data acquisitions at (or data compilation of) 6–12 international locations where varying seismic site conditions and recorded ground motions co-exist.
• 2020—conduct triple-tiered blind trial of data acquired in 2019 with participants consisting of students, commercial practitioners, and academic experts using individually customized and/or commercially donated (trial) analysis software.
• 2021—evaluate the aleatoric and epistemic uncertainties, as originated from site characterization and propagated to site response and ground motion analyses and report the preliminary findings at the March 2021 6th Effects of Surface Geology on Seismic Motions (ESG6) International Symposium, Kyoto, Japan; final report on recommended guidelines estimated for December 2021.