Strong earthquake ground shaking has been investigated by the study of 15 events recorded in El Centro, California. The strong-motion records analyzed show that no simple features (e.g., local site conditions) govern the details of local ground shaking. Any effects of local subsoil conditions at this site appear to be overshadowed by the source mechanism and the transmission path, there being no distinctly identifiable site periodicities.
Microtremor measurements have been taken in the area surrounding the strong-motion site. The objective was an investigation of possible correlations with strong ground motions and the analysis of site-response characteristics. Basic difficulties in ascertaining local site conditions through such low-amplitude ground motions are illustrated. It has been found that in this area microtremor and earthquake processes are widely different in character, there being little to no correlation between the ground's response to earthquakes and to microtremor excitations. Microtremors have been found to be nonstationary over periods of about a day or so, introducing further uncertainties into inferences from such measurements.