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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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