Norman A. Abrahamson

Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) has become a fundamental tool is assessing seismic hazards and for estimating seismic design and seismic safety evaluation of ground motions. It is used on a site-specific basis for important and critical facilities and on a national scale for building codes. This report describes a project to test and verify the numerical approaches and software used in PSHA.

Both the point- and finite-source stochastic ground motion models represent recent and promising developments in the quantification of strong ground motions for engineering design.

In previous ground-motion models, the range of applicability of the empirical ground-motion models was based on the range covered by the available empirical data set; however, in hazard studies, the ground motion must be computed for all relevant earthquakes, so the limits on the range of applicability were often ignored. To address this issue, the Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) project required the developers of the models to extrapolate their models such that they are applicable to all crustal earthquakes relevant for seismic hazard analyses in California.

Using a database of 655 recordings from 58 earthquakes, empirical response spectral attenuation relations are derived for the average horizontal and vertical component for shallow earthquakes in active tectonic regions. A new feature in this model is the inclusion of a factor to distinguish between ground motions on the hanging wall and footwall of dipping faults.

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