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Published May 2001 | Published
Journal Article Open

Characterization of near-source ground motions with earthquake simulations


We examine the characteristics of long-period near-source ground motions by conducting a sensitivity study with variations in six earthquake source parameters for both a strike-slip fault (M 7.0-7.1) and a thrust fault (M 6.6-7.0). The directivity of the ruptures creates large displacement and velocity pulses in the forward direction. The dynamic displacements close to the fault are comparable to the average slip. The ground motions exhibit the greatest sensitivity to the fault depth with moderate sensitivity to the rupture speed, peak slip rate, and average slip. For strike-slip faults and thrust faults with surface rupture, the maximum ground displacements and velocities occur in the region where the near-source factor from the 1997 Uniform Building Code is the largest. However, for a buried thrust fault the peak ground motions can occur up-dip from this region.

Additional Information

© 2001 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation fellowship, the Southern California Earthquake Center, and the California Institute of Technology. We would like to thank Steve Day and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Access to the 512 Node Intel Paragon computer, located at the California Institute of Technology, was provided by the Center for Advanced Computing Research.

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