The Mw 8.4 23 June 2001 Southern Peru earthquake generated intense ground motions in a large region encompassing southern Peru and northern Chile. The earthquake was recorded by seven strong motion stations with peak ground accelerations ranging from 0.04 g to 0.34 g for site-to-fault distances ranging from about 70 km to 220 km. At this time, there are no other strong motion records for an earthquake of this magnitude. Hence, the strong motion data set from this earthquake is unique and of particular interest to engineers dealing with seismic design in subduction regions. This paper presents an engineering analysis of the strong motion records. Shear-wave velocity profiles were measured using Spectral Analysis of Surface Waves methods at four stations. Measured shear-wave velocities are high, indicating that all sites classify as stiff soil sites (Site C) according to the International Building Code classification scheme. The strong motion set is characterized by strong high frequency content at large distances from the fault. Site response contributed at least in part to the observed high frequency content in the ground motions. In general, current attenuation relationships for spectral acceleration underpredicted the observed ground motions.

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