A newly compiled high-quality ground-shaking dataset of 207 intermediate-depth earthquakes recorded in the Vrancea region of the south-eastern Carpathian mountains in Romania was used to develop region-specific empirical predictive equations for various intensity measures: peak ground acceleration, peak ground velocity, and 5%-damped pseudo-spectral acceleration up to 10 s. Besides common predictor variables (e.g. moment magnitude, depth, hypocentral distance, and site conditions), additional distance scaling parameters were added to describe the specific attenuation pattern observed at the stations located not only on the back and fore but also along the Carpathian arc. In this model, we introduce a proxy measure for the site as the fundamental frequency of resonance to characterize the site response at each recording seismic station beside the soil classes. To additionally reduce the site-to-site variability, a non-ergodic methodology was considered, resulting in a lower standard deviation of about 25%. Statistical evaluation of the newly proposed ground-motion models indicates robust performance compared to regional observations. The model shows significant improvements in describing the spatial variability (at different spectral ordinates), particularly for the fore-arc area of the Carpathians where a deep sedimentary basin is located. Furthermore, the model presented herein improves estimates of ground shaking at longer spectral ordinates (>1 s) in agreement with the observations. The proposed ground-motion models are valid for hypocentral distances less than 500 km, depths over 70 km and within the moment magnitude range of 4.0–7.4.

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