Abstract

New earthquake ground-motion relations for hard-rock and soil sites in eastern North America (ena), including estimates of their aleatory uncertainty (variability) have been developed based on a stochastic finite-fault model. The model incorporates new information obtained from ena seismographic data gathered over the past 10 years, including three-component broadband data that provide new information on ena source and path effects. Our new prediction equations are similar to the previous ground-motion prediction equations of Atkinson and Boore (1995), which were based on a stochastic point-source model. The main difference is that high-frequency amplitudes (f ≥ 5 Hz) are less than previously predicted (by about a factor of 1.6 within 100 km), because of a slightly lower average stress parameter (140 bars versus 180 bars) and a steeper near-source attenuation. At frequencies less than 5 Hz, the predicted ground motions from the new equations are generally within 25% of those predicted by Atkinson and Boore (1995). The prediction equations agree well with available ena ground-motion data as evidenced by near-zero average residuals (within a factor of 1.2) for all frequencies, and the lack of any significant residual trends with distance. However, there is a tendency to positive residuals for moderate events at high frequencies in the distance range from 30 to 100 km (by as much as a factor of 2). This indicates epistemic uncertainty in the prediction model. The positive residuals for moderate events at <100 km could be eliminated by an increased stress parameter, at the cost of producing negative residuals in other magnitude-distance ranges; adjustment factors to the equations are provided that may be used to model this effect.

Online material: Database of response spectra for hard-rock sites in ena.

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