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Site response in the eastern United States: A comparison of Vs30 measurements with estimates from horizontal:vertical spectral ratios

By
Daniel E. McNamara
Daniel E. McNamara
U.S. Geological Survey, Geologic Hazards Science Center, 1711 Illinois St., Golden, Colorado 80401, USA
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William J. Stephenson
William J. Stephenson
U.S. Geological Survey, Geologic Hazards Science Center, 1711 Illinois St., Golden, Colorado 80401, USA
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Jack K. Odum
Jack K. Odum
U.S. Geological Survey, Geologic Hazards Science Center, 1711 Illinois St., Golden, Colorado 80401, USA
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Robert A. Williams
Robert A. Williams
U.S. Geological Survey, Geologic Hazards Science Center, 1711 Illinois St., Golden, Colorado 80401, USA
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Lind Gee
Lind Gee
U.S. Geological Survey, Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory, PO Box 82010, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87198-2010, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2015

Earthquake damage is often increased due to local ground-motion amplification caused by soft soils, thick basin sediments, topographic effects, and liquefaction. A critical factor contributing to the assessment of seismic hazard is detailed information on local site response. In order to address and quantify the site response at seismograph stations in the eastern United States, we investigate the regional spatial variation of horizontal:vertical spectral ratios (HVSR) using ambient noise recorded at permanent regional and national network stations as well as temporary seismic stations deployed in order to record aftershocks of the 2011 Mineral, Virginia, earthquake. We compare the HVSR peak frequency to surface measurements of the shear-wave seismic velocity to 30 m depth (Vs30) at 21 seismograph stations in the eastern United States and find that HVSR peak frequency increases with increasing Vs30. We use this relationship to estimate the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program soil class at 218 ANSS (Advanced National Seismic System), GSN (Global Seismographic Network), and RSN (Regional Seismograph Networks) locations in the eastern United States, and suggest that this seismic station–based HVSR proxy could potentially be used to calibrate other site response characterization methods commonly used to estimate shaking hazard.

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GSA Special Papers

The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America

J. Wright Horton, Jr.
J. Wright Horton, Jr.
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 926A, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, Virginia 20192, USA
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Martin C. Chapman
Martin C. Chapman
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 4044 Derring Hall, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
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Russell A. Green
Russell A. Green
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (MC 0105), 120B Patton Hall, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 750 Drillfield Drive, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
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The Geological Society of America
Volume
509
ISBN print:
9780813725093
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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