A source model for the 1995 Dinar earthquake that is capable of reproducing reasonably well the statistical characteristics of observed strong motion records is used to generate synthetic ground-motion accelerograms at 29 different sites along five east–west cross sections in the city. Each section crosses a distribution of topographical, geotechnical, and damage characteristics. All synthetic stations are located within a circle of approximately 4-km diameter, and a segment of the ruptured fault extends into the city. Four parameters are identified to represent the intensity of strong motion accelerograms. Two of them are the simplest kinematical parameters, namely peak ground acceleration and peak ground velocity, and the other two are spectral parameters, namely the average (over a period range) of spectral acceleration and of spectral input energy. The distribution of each intensity parameter is compared with the observed damage distribution in the city along the five sections. Spectral intensity parameters predict the damage distribution better than the two kinematical parameters, with spectral input energy slightly outperforming spectral acceleration. The results suggest that synthetic seismograms generated by using a realistic source model are capable of producing useful estimates of ground-motion intensity and consequent structural damage even within the boundaries of a modestsized city in the near field of the earthquake source.

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