Abstract

Peak ground velocity (pgv) has many applications in earthquake engineering, but there are relatively few prediction equations for this parameter in comparison with the large numbers of equations for estimating peak ground acceleration and response spectral ordinates. This lack of empirical equations for pgv has led to widespread use of the practice of scaling peak velocity from the 5%-damped response spectral ordinate at 1 sec, which is a poor substitute for direct prediction of the parameter. Responding to the need to provide equations for the prediction of pgv, this article derives new equations using the strong-motion database for the seismically active areas of Europe and the Middle East, following a new processing of all of the records. A total of 532 strong-motion accelerograms recorded at distances of up to 100 km from 131 earthquakes with moment magnitudes ranging from M 5 to 7.6 are used to derive equations for both the larger and the geometric mean of the horizontal components. The predictions are found to be broadly consistent with those from previous European equations, and also with preliminary results from the Next Generation of Attenuation (nga) project, suggesting that systematic differences in ground motions from active crustal regions, if any, are sufficiently small not to prevent the combined use of strong-motion data from southern Europe, western North America, and other tectonically active areas of shallow crustal seismicity.

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