Abstract

Kyrgyzstan, which is located in the collision zone between the Eurasian and Indo-Australian lithosphere plates, is prone to large earthquakes as shown by its historical seismicity. Hence, an increase in the knowledge and awareness by local authorities and decision makers of the possible consequence of a large earthquake, based on improved seismic hazard assessments and realistic earthquake risk scenarios, is mandatory to mitigate the effects of an earthquake. To this regard, the Central Asia Cross-Border Natural Disaster Prevention (CASCADE) project aims to install a cross-border seismological and strong motion network in Central Asia and to support microzonation activities for the capitals of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. During the first phase of the project, a temporary seismological network of 19 stations was installed in the city of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, single-station noise recordings were collected at nearly 200 sites. In this study, the site amplifications occurring in Bishkek are assessed by analyzing 56 earthquakes extracted from the data streams continuously acquired by the network, as well as from the single-station noise measurements. A broadband amplification (starting at ∼0.1 and 0.2 Hz), is shown by the standard spectral ratio (SSR) results of the stations located within the basin. The reliability of the observed low-frequency amplification was validated through a time–frequency analysis of denoised seismograms. Discrepancies between horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio and SSR results are due to the large amplification of the vertical component of ground motion, probably due to the effect of converted waves. The single-station noise results, once their reliability was assessed by their comparison with the earthquake data, have been used to produce the first fundamental resonance frequency map for Bishkek, whose spatial variation shows a good agreement with the presence of an impedance contrast within the Tertiary sedimentary cover.

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