ABSTRACT

One of the most commonly used parameters to describe seismic attenuation is the high‐frequency spectral decay parameter Kappa (κr), yet the physics behind it remain little understood. A better understanding of potential factors that lead to large scatter in estimated values of κr constitutes a critical need for ground‐motion modeling and seismic hazard assessment at large. Most research efforts to date have focused on studying the site‐to‐site and model‐to‐model variability of κ, but the uncertainties in individual κr estimations associated with different events at a selected site (which we refer to as the within‐station variability of κr) remain uncharacterized. As a direct corollary, obtaining robust estimates of the site‐specific component κ0, and their corresponding interpretation become a challenge. To understand the sources of the variability observed in κr (and κ0) at a single site, we select 10 Japanese Kiban–Kyoshin network (KiK‐net) downhole arrays and investigate the systematic contributions from ground‐motion directionality. We observe that κr estimated from a single horizontal component is orientation dependent. In addition, the influence of ground‐motion directionality is a function of local site conditions. We propose an orientation‐independent κr‐value, which is not affected either by ground‐motion directionality or by the events’ azimuths. In addition, we find that focal depth of events used in κr calculations affects the estimation of the regional attenuation component κR, which, in turn, influences the within‐station variability in the κ0 model.

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