Abstract

To provide a basis for assessing the seismic hazard to the Joes Valley Dam due to future coal mining in the nearby Cottonwood Tract, central Utah, we developed ground-motion prediction relations using data recorded by a seismic network, established and operated by the University of Utah Seismograph Stations. The network was centered on the Trail Mountain coal mine, located adjacent to the Cottonwood Tract. From late 2000 until early 2001, this network recorded numerous mining-induced events with magnitudes as large as 2.17. The ground motion from these events, recorded at hypocentral distances ranging from about 500 m to approximately 10 km, were well suited to developing new ground-motion prediction relations, especially when augmented by data from a M 4.2 earthquake in the Willow Creek mine, about 50 km north of Trail Mountain. Using a two-stage regression analysis, we determined prediction relations for peak acceleration, peak velocity, and pseudovelocity response spectra, at 5% damping, for periods of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 s. To illustrate the potential seismic hazard at the Joes Valley dam, we used these ground-motion relations to predict a peak velocity of 6.8 cm/s due to an earthquake with the probable maximum magnitude of 3.9, at a hypocentral distance of 1 km, recorded at a rock site typical for this region. This result does not take into account the site response at the dam.

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