Strong-motion data from earthquakes of western North America are examined to provide the basis for estimating peak acceleration, velocity, and displacement as a function of distance for three magnitude classes, 5.0 to 5.7, 6.0 to 6.4, and 7.1 to 7.6. Analysis of a subset of the data from the San Fernando earthquake shows that small but statistically significant differences exist between peak values of horizontal acceleration, velocity, and displacement recorded on soil at the base of small structures and values recorded at the base of large structures. The peak acceleration tends to be less and the peak velocity and displacement to be greater at the base of large structures than at the base of small structures. In the distance range used in the regression analysis (15 to 100 km), the values of peak horizontal acceleration recorded at soil sites in the San Fernando earthquake are not significantly different from the values recorded at rock sites, but values of peak horizontal velocity and displacement are significantly greater at soil sites.

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