Spatially correlated strong ground motions can cause severe seismic damage to spatially‐distributed buildings and infrastructure. Empirical spatial correlation models for ground‐motion measures such as peak ground acceleration and spectral acceleration have been developed using strong ground‐motion records from California, Taiwan, and Japan. In this paper, we compare an empirical spatial correlation model for the 1999 Chi‐Chi, Taiwan, earthquake with that obtained from stochastic finite‐fault simulations; the stochastic finite‐fault method is a widely used technique to generate synthetic ground‐motion records for engineering applications and hazard assessment. We show that the stochastic records do not reproduce the observed intraevent spatial correlation characteristics and comment on what would be required to make them do so.

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