Despite obvious limitations as a proxy for site amplification, the use of time-averaged shear-wave velocity over the top 30m (Vs30) is useful and widely practiced, most notably through its use as an explanatory variable in ground motion prediction equations (and thus hazard maps and ShakeMaps, among other applications). Local, regional, and global Vs30 maps thus have diverse and fundamental uses in earthquake and engineering seismology. As such, we are developing an improved strategy for producing Vs30 maps given the common observational constraints available in any region for various spatial scales. We investigate a hierarchical approach to mapping Vs30, where the baseline model is derived from topographic slope because it is available globally, but geological maps and Vs30 observations contribute, where available. Using the abundant measured Vs30 values in Taiwan as an example, we analyze Vs30 versus slope per geologic unit and observe minor trends that indicate potential interaction of geologic and slope terms. We then regress Vs30 for the geologic Vs30 medians, topographic-slope, and cross-term coefficients for a hybrid model. The residuals of this hybrid model still exhibit a strong spatial correlation structure, so we use the kriging-with-a-trend method (the trend is the hybrid model) to further refine the Vs30 map so as to honor the Vs30 observations. Unlike the geology or slope models alone, this strategytakes advantage of the predictive capabilities of the two models, yet effectively defaults to ordinary kriging in the vicinity of the observed data, thereby achieving consistency with the observed data.
Additional publication details
A new strategy for developing Vs30 maps
University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
Geologic Hazards Science Center
4th IASPEI/IAEE International Symposium: Effects of Surface Geology on Seismic Motion