The usefulness of long-period microtremor observation for earthquake engineering problems at extremely deep soil deposit site was examined in this study. Microtremor observations were made in the Niigata Plain, Japan, and in Los Angeles, California, where depths to the basement rock are several kilometers. These two locations were selected because strong-motion records obtained during the Niigata earthquake of 1964 and the San Fernando earthquake of 1971 contain large long-period amplitudes. Understanding why these predominate long-period motions were recorded is important for the evaluation of seismic input motions for large-scale structures.

Long-period microtremor observations were carried out in both areas in order to evaluate the characteristics of deep soil. Observations were performed simultaneously at a number of stations to distinguish the nature of deep soil deposit. The result of Fourier analysis showed that amplitude of microtremors in long-period range increases systematically from the point of basement rock outcrop to deep deposit site, with the increase corresponding to the depth-to-basement rock. This relationship coincides with that observed in the strong-motion earthquake records. These analyses indicated that simultaneous observation of long-period microtremors at a number of stations can provide insight to the characteristic of deep soil amplification and, therefore, permit estimation of seismic input motions for large-scale structures.

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