Validation of simulated earthquake ground motions based on evolution of intensity and frequency content

Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
By: , and 



Simulated earthquake ground motions can be used in many recent engineering applications that require time series as input excitations. However, applicability and validation of simulations are subjects of debate in the seismological and engineering communities. We propose a validation methodology at the waveform level and directly based on characteristics that are expected to influence most structural and geotechnical response parameters. In particular, three time-dependent validation metrics are used to evaluate the evolving intensity, frequency, and bandwidth of a waveform. These validation metrics capture nonstationarities in intensity and frequency content of waveforms, making them ideal to address nonlinear response of structural systems. A two-component error vector is proposed to quantify the average and shape differences between these validation metrics for a simulated and recorded ground-motion pair. Because these metrics are directly related to the waveform characteristics, they provide easily interpretable feedback to seismologists for modifying their ground-motion simulation models. To further simplify the use and interpretation of these metrics for engineers, it is shown how six scalar key parameters, including duration, intensity, and predominant frequency, can be extracted from the validation metrics. The proposed validation methodology is a step forward in paving the road for utilization of simulated ground motions in engineering practice and is demonstrated using examples of recorded and simulated ground motions from the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Validation of simulated earthquake ground motions based on evolution of intensity and frequency content
Series title Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
DOI 10.1785/0120140210
Volume 105
Issue 6
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Seismological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 14 p.
First page 3036
Last page 3049
Country United States
State California
City Los Angeles
Other Geospatial Northridge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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