Seismology 101: What is Bahrain’s earthquake hazard classification?

UAE today recorded a minor earthquake, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, that hit the coast of the emirate of Fujairah and was felt by some local residents.

What is Bahrain’s earthquake hazard?

According to ThinkHazard, Bahrain’s earthquake hazard is classified as very low. This means that there is less than a 2% chance of potentially-damaging earthquakes in the next 50 years.

However, its location at the centre of the Arabian Plate means it can be affected by tremors in Iran, Pakistan, Yemen and Oman, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News.

A report by the Bahrain Society of Engineers states that Bahrain has potential seismic hazard in the form of peak ground acceleration (PGA) at the base rock of between 0.2 to 0.1g with 475 years return period.

These findings have placed Bahrain in seismic zone 1 according to Uniform Building Code 1997. This paper revealed the comparison study on of the earthquake response spectra between two sites which have different soil characteristics.

The first site is situated in Bahrain Finacial Harbour which represents the stiff soil deposit and the second one represented by a site in Jidhafs which is a soft soil deposit.