In a way perhaps not dissimilar to stress drop (Atkinson and Beresnev, 1997), the high‐frequency attenuation parameter κ (kappa), introduced by Anderson and Hough (1984), is one of the most used yet least understood or agreed‐upon parameters in engineering seismology. It describes the deviation at high frequencies between observed Fourier amplitude spectra calculated from seismograms and an ω−2 source model, such as the Brune (1970) model. Almost 30 years after its introduction, κ is used by seismologists and engineers alike and constitutes an important input parameter for several applications. Perhaps because of its importance, it is...

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