Abstract

We analyzed the regional dependence of ground motion to intensity conversion equations and derived a new global relationship to improve ground motion and intensity estimates for earthquake hazard applications, including those related to the ShakeMap system. For this purpose, we merged several databases collected by other authors in different geographical regions to highlight any systematic regional effects in the relationship between macroseismic intensities and both peak ground velocity and peak ground acceleration. Our database contains macroseismic intensities derived from expert assignments or from the “Did You Feel It?” database, paired with peak ground motions (PGM) from seismic stations. We constrain our intensity–ground‐motion pairs to those with a maximum 2 km separation. For each region, we derived invertible relationships between intensities and ground motion using an orthogonal regression. We also derived a global relationship to quantify the regional differences. We investigated the dependence of intensity on predictor variables such as PGM, magnitude, and hypocentral distance. Our analyses indicate that PGM is the most robust predictor variable of intensity. Within one standard deviation, our regional and global results are in agreement with the relations of Worden et al. (2012) for California, Faenza and Michelini (2010) for Italy, Tselentis and Danciu (2008) for Greece, and Atkinson and Kaka (2007) for central–eastern United States. The earthquakes in the study ranged in magnitude from 2.5 to 7.3, and the distances ranged from less than a kilometer to about 200 km from the epicenter.

Online Material: Table summarizing published relationships and figures showing the relationship between peak ground acceleration and intensity.

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