The Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) relationships for shallow crustal earthquakes in the western United States predict a rotated geometric mean of horizontal spectral demand, termed GMRotI50, and not maximum spectral demand. Differences between strike-normal, strike-parallel, geometric-mean, and maximum spectral demands in the near-fault region are investigated using 147 pairs of records selected from the NGA strong motion database. The selected records are for earthquakes with moment magnitude greater than 6.5 and for closest site-to-fault distance less than 15 km. Ratios of maximum spectral demand to NGA-predicted GMRotI50 for each pair of ground motions are presented. The ratio shows a clear dependence on period and the Somerville directivity parameters. Maximum demands can substantially exceed NGA-predicted GMRotI50 demands in the near-fault region, which has significant implications for seismic design, seismic performance assessment, and the next-generation seismic design maps. Strike-normal spectral demands are a significantly unconservative surrogate for maximum spectral demands for closest distance greater than 3 to 5 km. Scale factors that transform NGA-predicted GMRotI50 to a maximum spectral demand in the near-fault region are proposed.

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