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Published January 2004 | public
Journal Article

Soil and Topographic Amplification on Canyon Banks and the 1999 Athens Earthquake


A time-domain parametric study for the seismic response of a region located on the eastern bank of the Kifisos river canyon is performed to evaluate the significance of topography and soil effects on the seismic response of slopes. This region experienced unexpectedly heavy damage during the 7 September 1999 M_s 5.9 earthquake. Two-dimensional finite-element and spectral-element analyses are conducted using Ricker wavelets of various central frequencies as horizontal and vertical base excitation. The significance of a layered soil profile and the frequency content of the input motion, the emergence of "parasitic" acceleration components, and the effect of the angle of incidence on the amplification of the incoming waves are all discussed in detail. It is shown that the presence of a surface soil layer significantly affects the amplification pattern. The so-called Topographic Aggravation Factor (defined as the 2D/1D Fourier spectral ratio) achieves its maximum value very near the crest, in function of the frequency content of the excitation. For the particular soil conditions and geometry analysed, vertically propagating SV waves incite at about the critical angle, resulting in the highest topographic amplification.

Additional Information

Copyright © 2004 Imperial College Press. Received 26 August 2002. Revised 23 May 2003. Accepted 1 July 2003.

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