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Attenuation of peak ground accelerations from the great Wenchuan earthquake

Wang Dong1 and Xie Lili1,2

  1. Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China Earthquake Administration, Harbin 150080, China
  2. School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China

Abstract: Over 800 accelerograms recorded by 272 ground-level stations during the Wenchuan earthquake are used to analyze the influence of rupture distance, local site conditions and azimuth on peak ground accelerations (PGAs). To achieve a better understanding of the characteristics of ground motions, the spatial distributions of the EW, NS and UD components of PGAs are obtained. Comparisons between the EW and NS components, the fault-normal and fault-parallel components, and the vertical and horizontal components of PGAs are performed, and the regression formula of the vertical-to-horizontal ratio of PGAs is developed. The attenuation relationship of peak horizontal accelerations (PHAs) is compared with several contemporary attenuation relationships. In addition, an analysis of residuals is conducted to identify the potential effects of rupture distance, azimuth and site conditions on the observed values of PHAs. The analysis focuses on medium-hard soil site conditions, as they provided most of the data used in this study.

Keywords: Wenchuan earthquake; peak ground acceleration (PGA); attenuation; rupture distance; azimuth

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Copyright© 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.