Equations for the estimation of strong ground motions from shallow crustal earthquakes using data from Europe and the Middle East: vertical peak ground acceleration and spectral acceleration

N. N. Ambraseys, J. Douglas, S. K. Sarma, P. M. Smit

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This article presents equations for the estimation of vertical strong ground motions caused by shallow crustal earthquakes with magnitudes M w 5 and distance to the surface projection of the fault less than 100km. These equations were derived by weighted regression analysis, used to remove observed magnitude-dependent variance, on a set of 595 strong-motion records recorded in Europe and the Middle East. Coefficients are included to model the effect of local site effects and faulting mechanism on the observed ground motions. The equations include coefficients to model the observed magnitude-dependent decay rate. The main findings of this study are that: short-period ground motions from small and moderate magnitude earthquakes decay faster than the commonly assumed 1/r, the average effect of differing faulting mechanisms is similar to that observed for horizontal motions and is not large and corresponds to factors between 0.7 (normal and odd) and 1.4 (thrust) with respect to strike-slip motions and that the average long-period amplification caused by soft soil deposits is about 2.1 over those on rock sites. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-73
Number of pages19
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • attenuation relations
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • strong ground motion estimation
  • earthquakes

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