A survey of techniques for predicting earthquake ground motions for engineering purposes

John Douglas, Hideo Aochi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past four or five decades many advances have been made in earthquake ground-motion prediction and a variety of procedures have been proposed. Some of these procedures are based on explicit physical models of the earthquake source, travel-path and recording site while others lack a strong physical basis and seek only to replicate observations. In addition, there are a number of hybrid methods that seek to combine benefits of different approaches. The various techniques proposed have their adherents and some of them are extensively used to estimate ground motions for engineering design purposes and in seismic hazard research. These methods all have their own advantages and limitations that are not often discussed by their proponents. The purposes of this article are to: summarise existing methods and the most important references, provide a family tree showing the connections between different methods and, most importantly, to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-220
Number of pages34
JournalSurveys in Geophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • earthquake
  • earthquake scenario
  • ground-motion prediction
  • seismic hazard assessment
  • strong ground motion


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