Abstract

The M 4.5 southwestern Indiana earthquake of 18 June 2002 triggered 46 blast monitors in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. The resulting flee-field particle velocity records, along with similar data from previous earthquakes in the study area, provide a clear standard for judging the reliability of current maps for predicting ground motions greater than 2 Hz in southwestern Indiana and southeastern Illinois. Peak horizontal accelerations and velocities, and 5% damped pseudo-accelerations for the earthquake, generally exceeded ground motions predicted for the top of the bedrock by factors of 2 or more, even after soil amplifications were taken into consideration. It is suggested, but not proven, that the low shear-wave velocity and weathered bedrock in the area are also amplifying the higher-frequency ground motions that have been repeatedly recorded by the blast monitors in the study area. It is also shown that there is a good correlation between the peak ground motions and 5% pseudo-accelerations recorded for the event, and the Modified Mercalli intensities interpreted for the event by the U.S. Geological Survey.

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