Subduction ground motions in northern South America are about a factor of 2 smaller than the ground motions for similar events in other regions. Nevertheless, historical and recent large-interface and intermediate-depth slab earthquakes of moment magnitudes Mw = 7.8 (Ecuador, 2016) and 7.2 (Colombia, 2012) evidenced the vast potential damage that vulnerable populations close to earthquake epicenters could experience. This article proposes a new empirical ground-motion prediction model for subduction events in northern South America, a regionalization of the global AG2020 ground-motion prediction equations. An updated ground-motion database curated by the Colombian Geological Survey is employed. It comprises recordings from earthquakes associated with the subduction of the Nazca plate gathered by the National Strong Motion Network in Colombia and by the Institute of Geophysics at Escuela Politécnica Nacional in Ecuador. The regional terms of our model are estimated with 539 records from 60 subduction events in Colombia and Ecuador with epicenters in the range of −0.6° to 7.6°N and 75.5° to 79.6°W, with Mw≥4.5, hypocentral depth range of 4 ≤ Zhypo ≤ 210 km, for distances up to 350 km. The model includes forearc and backarc terms to account for larger attenuation at backarc sites for slab events and site categorization based on natural period. The proposed model corrects the median AG2020 global model to better account for the larger attenuation of local ground motions and includes a partially non-ergodic variance model.

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