Simulation of ground motion using the stochastic method

Pure and Applied Geophysics


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A simple and powerful method for simulating ground motions is to combine parametric or functional descriptions of the ground motion's amplitude spectrum with a random phase spectrum modified such that the motion is distributed over a duration related to the earthquake magnitude and to the distance from the source. This method of simulating ground motions often goes by the name "the stochastic method." It is particularly useful for simulating the higher-frequency ground motions of most interest to engineers (generally, f>0.1 Hz), and it is widely used to predict ground motions for regions of the world in which recordings of motion from potentially damaging earthquakes are not available. This simple method has been successful in matching a variety of ground-motion measures for earthquakes with seismic moments spanning more than 12 orders of magnitude and in diverse tectonic environments. One of the essential characteristics of the method is that it distills what is known about the various factors affecting ground motions (source, path, and site) into simple functional forms. This provides a means by which the results of the rigorous studies reported in other papers in this volume can be incorporated into practical predictions of ground motion.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Simulation of ground motion using the stochastic method
Series title Pure and Applied Geophysics
Volume 160
Issue 3-4
Year Published 2003
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Pure and Applied Geophysics
First page 635
Last page 676