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Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering


Dr. Deepankar Choudhury

Professor Department of Civil Engineering IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai 400 076, India.
Email: URL: Lecture 9b

Module 4 Strong Ground Motion

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Size of Earthquakes

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Magnitude and Intensity

Intensity How Strong Earthquake Feels to Observer
Qualitative assessment of the kinds of damage done by an earthquake Depends on distance to earthquake & strength of earthquake Determined from the intensity of shaking and damage from the earthquake

Magnitude Related to Energy Release.

Quantitative measurement of the amount of energy released by an earthquake Depends on the size of the fault that breaks Determined from Seismic Records
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Measuring Earthquakes
Seismogram is visual record of arrival time and magnitude of shaking associated with seismic wave. Analysis of seismogram allows measurement of size of earthquake.

Mercalli Intensity scale

Measured by the amount of damage caused in human terms- I (low) to XII (high); drawback: inefficient in uninhabited area

Richter Scale- (logarithmic scale)

Magnitude- based on amplitude of the waves Related to earthquake total energy
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How Strong Earthquake Feels to Observer Depends On: Distance to hypocenter/epicenter Geology of site Type of building /structure Observers feeling Value varies from Place to Place Modified Mercalli Scale - I to XII
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Ref: Wikipedia

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Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale

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Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale

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Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale

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Earthquake Magnitude

ML - Local (Richter) magnitude

MW - Seismic Moment magnitude

MS - Surface wave magnitude


Body wave magnitude

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Richter Scale
Richter Scale
Amplitude scale is logarithmic (10-fold increase for every whole number increase) Scale 0 ---- 0.001 mm; 1---- 0.01 mm; 4---- 10mm; 6---- 1 meter Earthquake Energy: Each whole number represents a 33fold increase in Energy; Energy difference between 3 & 6 means ~1000 times Drawbacks: Based on Antiquated Wood-Anderson Seismographs Measurement Past Magnitude 7.0 ineffective Requires Estimates
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Local Magnitude of Earthquake

Magnitude Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake, based on seismogram independent of intensity Amplitude of the largest wave produced by an event is corrected for distance and assigned a value on an openended logarithmic scale The equation for Richter Magnitude is: ML = log10A(mm) + (Distance correction factor)

Here A is the amplitude, in millimeters, measured directly from the photographic paper record of the Wood-Anderson seismograph, a special type of instrument. The distance factor comes from a table given by Richter (1958). 13
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Richters Local Magnitude

Right side diagram (nomogram) demonstrates how to use Richter's

original method to measure a seismogram for a magnitude estimate After you measure the wave amplitude you have to take its logarithm and scale it according to the distance of the seismometer from the earthquake, estimated by the S-P time difference. The S-P time, in seconds, makes t. The equation behind this nomogram, used by Richter in Southern California, is:

ML = log10A(mm) +3 log10[8 t (sec)]-2.93

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Richter Scale: Related to intensity

M=1 to 3: Recorded on local seismographs, but generally not felt

M= 3 to 4: Often felt, no damage

M=5: Felt widely, slight damage near epicenter

M=6: Damage to poorly constructed buildings and other structures within 10's km
M=7: "Major" earthquake, causes serious damage up to ~100 km (Gujarat 2001 earthquake). M=8: "Great" earthquake, great destruction, loss of life over several 100 km

M=9: Rare great earthquake, major damage over a large region over 1000 km
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Surface Wave Magnitude

Richters local magnitude does not distinguish between different types of waves. At large distances from epicenter, ground motion is dominated by surface waves. Gutenberg and Richter (1956) developed a magnitude scale based on the amplitude of Rayleigh waves. Surface wave magnitude Ms = log10A + 1.66 log10 +2.0 A = Maximum ground displacement in micrometers = Distance of seismograph from the epicenter, in degrees. Surface wave magnitude is used for shallow earthquakes
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Body Wave Magnitude

For deep focus earthquakes, reliable measurement of amplitude of surface waves is difficult. Amplitudes of P-waves are not strongly affected by focal depth. Gutenberg (1945) developed a magnitude scale based on the amplitude of the first few cycles of P- waves, which is useful for measuring the size of deep earthquakes. Body wave magnitude mb = log10A log10T +0.01 A = Amplitude of P-waves in micrometers + 5.9

T = period of P-wave
= Distance of seismograph from the epicenter, in degrees.
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Source: Richter (1958)

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Limitations of Ms and mb due to Magnitude Saturation

Magnitude saturation, is a general phenomenon for approximately Mb > 6.2 and Ms > 8.3. As Mb approaches 6.2 or MS approaches 8.3, there is an abrupt change in the rate at which frequency of occurrence decreases with magnitude. Though the rupture area on the fault is large, the predictions will saturate at these magnitudes. Because of this magnitude saturation, estimation of magnitude for large earthquakes through Mb and Ms becomes erroneous. IIT Bombay, DC


Seismic - Moment Magnitude

A Seismograph Measures Ground Motion at One Instant But - A Really Great Earthquake Lasts Minutes Releases Energy over Hundreds of Kilometers Need to Sum Energy of Entire Record Moment magnitude scale based on seismic moment (Kanamori, 1977) and doesnt depend upon ground shaking levels. Its the only magnitude scale efficient for any size of earthquake.
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Moment Magnitude
Moment-Magnitude Scale Seismic Moment = Strength of Rock x Fault Area x Total amount of Slip along Rupture M0 = A D (in N.m) [Idriss, 1985] Where, = shear modulus of material along the fault plane in N/m2 (= 3x1010 N/m2 for surface crust and 7x1012 N/m2 for

A = area of fault plane undergoing slip (m2) D = average displacement of ruptured segment of fault (m)

Moment Magnitude, Mw = 2/3 x [log10M0(dyne-cm) 16]

Moment Magnitude, Mw = - 6.0 + 0.67 log10M0(N.m) [Hanks and Kanamori (1979)] Measurement Analysis requires Time
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Seismic - Moment Magnitude

Most magnitude scales saturate towards large earthquakes with m b > 6.0, M L > 6.5, and M S > 8.0. The moment magnitude M w (Kanamori 1977) represents true size of earthquakes, as it is based on seismic moment, which in turn is proportional to the product of the rupture area and dislocation of an earthquake fault (Aki 1966). M W is defined as, MW = 2/3log10M0 6.05 where M 0 is the scalar seismic moment in Nm. MW does not saturate, this is the most reliable magnitude for describing the size of an earthquake (Scordilis 2006).
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Rigidity of Crust and Mantle for Seismic Moment Estimation

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The distribution of M W versus M L is shown Fig. and the correlation is given by Kolathayar et al. (2012) for India by considering 69 earthquake data, MW=0.815(0.04)ML+0.767(0.174), 3.3ML7, R2=0.884

Correlation between Mw and ML

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Correlations between various magnitude scales

Heaton et al. (1982)

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Seismic Energy
Both the magnitude and the seismic moment are related to the amount of energy that is radiated by an earthquake. Gutenberg and Richter (1956), developed a relationship between magnitude and energy. Their relationship is: logES = 11.8 + 1.5Ms
Energy ES in ergs from the surface wave magnitude Ms. ES is not

the total intrinsic energy of the earthquake, transferred from

sources such as gravitational energy or to sinks such as heat energy. It is only the amount radiated from the earthquake as seismic waves, which ought to be a small fraction of the total energy transferred during the earthquake process.
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Local Magnitude - Seismic Energy correlation

Gujarat (2001)

Size of an earthquake using the Richters Local Magnitude Scale is shown on the left hand side of the figure above. The larger the number, the bigger the earthquake. The scale on the right hand side of the figure represents the amount of high explosive required to 28 produce the energy released by the earthquake.

Frequency of earthquakes

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Frequency of earthquakes

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Example Problem

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Ground Motion

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Strong Ground Motion

Evaluation of the effects of earthquakes requires the study of ground motion. Engineering Seismology deals with vibrations related to earthquakes, which are strong enough to cause damage to people and environment. The ground motions produced by earthquakes at any particular point have 3 translational and 3 rotational components. In practice, generally translational components of ground motion are measured and the rotational components are ignored.
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Strong motion seismographs

Seismographs in India Designed to pickup strong, high-amplitude shaking close to quake source Most common type is the accelerometer Directly records ground acceleration Recording is triggered by first waves Difficult to differentiate S and surface waves

Seismogram interpretation
Seismograms can provide information on
epicenter location Magnitude of earthquake source properties

Most seismograms will record P, S & surface waves First arrival is P wave After a pause of several seconds/10s seconds the higher amplitude S wave arrives Defines S-P interval

- surface waves follow and may continue for tens of seconds - surface waves are slower but persist to greater distances than P & S waves

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Wave terminology
Wave amplitude
height of a wave above its zero position time taken to complete one cycle of motion number of cycles per second (Hertz) felt shaking during quake has frequencies from 20 down to 1 Hertz

Wave period


Human ear can detect frequencies down to 15 Hz

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Ground Motion Recording

The actual ground motion at a given location is derived from instrumentally recorded motions. The most commonly used instruments for engineering purposes are strong motion accelerographs/ accelerometers. These instruments record the acceleration time history of ground motion at a site, called an accelerogram. By proper analysis of a recorded accelerogram to account for instrument distortion and base line correction, the resulting corrected acceleration record can be used by engineers to obtain ground velocity and ground displacement by appropriate integration.
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Types of Accelerometers: Electronic : transducers produce voltage output Servo controlled: use suspended mass with displacement transducer Piezoelectric: Mass attached to a piezoelectric material, which develops electric charge on surface.

Principle: An acceleration a will cause the mass to be displaced by ma/k or alternatively, if we observe a displacement of x, we know that the mass has undergone an acceleration of kx/m.

Generally accelerometers are placed in three orthogonal directions to measure accelerations in three directions at any time. Sometimes geophones (velocity transducers) are attached to accelerometers to measure the seismic wave velocities.
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Ground Motion Parameters

An earthquake history can be described using amplitude, frequency content, and duration.

Amplitude: The most common measures of amplitude are

PGA: Peak ground acceleration (Horizontal- PHA & Vertical- PVA) EPA: Effective peak acceleration PGV: Peak ground velocity ( PHV & PVV) EPV: Effective peak velocity PGD: Peak ground displacement

Frequency Content: The frequency content of an earthquake history is often described using Fourier Spectra, Power spectra and response spectra.
Duration: The duration of an earthquake history is somewhat dependent on the magnitude of the earthquake.
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Measurement of ground acceleration

A seismograph can be illustrated by a mass-spring-dashpot single degree of freedom system.

The response of such system for shaking is given by


t where u is the trace displacement


u t

k u m ug

(relative displacement between

seismograph and ground), ug is the ground displacement, c is the damping coefficient, k is the stiffness coefficient.
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Measurement of ground acceleration

If the ground displacement is simple harmonic at a circular frequency

, the ground acceleration amplitude is calculated

from the trace displacement amplitude using the equation of acceleration response ratio: u 2 2 ug 1 0 2 t where

2 2

is the undamped natural circular frequency

g/ 0

is tuning ratio, given by Is damping ratio, given by

c 2 km

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Amplitude Parameters

From the time histories of acceleration, velocity and displacement are obtained by integrating the acceleration records. All other amplitude parameters are calculated from these time histories.
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Peak Acceleration
Most commonly used measure of amplitude of a ground motion is the Peak horizontal acceleration (PHA). It is the absolute maximum value obtained from accelerogram. Maximum resultant PHA is the vector sum of two orthogonal components. Estimation of PHA is most important for any design. PHA and MMI relationship (Trifunac and Brady, 1975) are often used. PVA is not that important and PVA = (2/3)PHA is commonly assumed for design (Newmark and Hall, 1982). Peak acceleration data with frequency content/duration of earthquake is important. Because for e.g. 0.5g PHA may not cause significant damage to structures if earthquake duration is very small.
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Peak Acceleration

Proposed relationships between PHA & MMI (Trifunac & Brady, 1975).
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Peak Velocity and Displacement

Peak horizontal velocity (PHV) is also used to characterize ground motion. PHV is better than PHA for intermediate frequencies as velocity is less sensitive to higher frequency. For above reason, many times PHV may provide better indication for damage than PHA. PHV and MMI relationship (Trifunac and Brady, 1975) are also used.

Peak displacements are associated with low frequency components of earthquake motion. Hence signaling and filtering error of data is common and hence not recommended for practical uses over PHA or PHV.

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Other Amplitude Parameters

Sustained Maximum Acceleration: The absolute values of highest accelerations that sustained for 3 and 5 cycles in acceleration time history are defined as 3-cycle sustained and 5cycle sustained accelerations respectively.
Effective Design Acceleration: The acceleration which is effective in causing structural damage. This depends on size of loaded area, weight, damping and stiffness properties of structure and its location with respect to epicenter. Kennedy (1980) proposed EDA as 25% higher than 3-cycle PHA recorded in filtered time history. Benjamin and Associates (1988) proposed EDA as the PHA after filtering out accelerations above 8-9 Hz.
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Frequency Content Parameters

The frequency content of an earthquake history is often described using Fourier Spectra, Power spectra and response spectra. Ground Motion Spectra - Fourier Spectra

A periodic function (for which an earthquake history is an approximation) can be written as

x(t )


cn sin( nt
n 1


where cn and n are the amplitude and phase angle respectively of the nth harmonic in the Fourier series.
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Frequency Content Parameters

The Fourier amplitude spectrum is a plot of cn versus

Shows how the amplitude of the motion varies with frequency. Expresses the frequency content of a motion

The Fourier phase spectrum is a plot of


Phase angles control the times at which the peaks of harmonic motion occur.
Fourier phase spectrum is influenced by the variation of ground motion with time.

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Fourier Amplitude Spectrum

Fourier Amplitude (log)

The Fourier amplitude spectra of actual earthquakes are often plotted on logarithmic scales, so that their characteristic shapes can be clearly distinguished from the smoothed curves. Two frequencies that mark the range of frequencies for largest Fourier acceleration amplitude are corner frequency (fc) and cutoff frequency (fmax)



Frequency (log)

fc is a very important parameter because it is inversely proportional to the cube root of seismic moment, thus indicating that large earthquakes produce greater low-frequency motions.
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Frequency Content Parameters

Power Spectra

The power spectrum is a plot of G( ) versus n . The power spectrum density (PSD) function is defined by the following equation and is closely related to the Fourier amplitude spectrum:

G( )

1 2 cn Td

where G( ) is the PSD, Td is the duration of the ground motion, and cn is the amplitude of the nth harmonic in the Fourier series. PSD function is used to characterize an earthquake history as a random process.
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Frequency Content Parameters

Response Spectra Response spectra are widely used in earthquake engineering. The response spectrum describes the maximum response of a SDOF oscillator to a particular input motion as a function of frequency and damping ratio. The response spectra from two sites (one rock and the other soil) are shown in figure.
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Duration of an earthquake is very important parameter that influences the amount of damage due to earthquake. A strong motion of very high amplitude of short duration may not cause as much damage to a structure as a motion with moderate amplitude with long duration can cause. This is because the ground motion with long duration causes more load reversals, which is important in the degradation of stiffness of the structures and in building up pore pressures in loose saturated soils. Duration represents the time required for the release of accumulated strain energy along a fault, thus increases with increase in magnitude of earthquake. Relative duration does not depend on the peak values. It is the time interval between the points at which 5% and 95% of the total energy has been recorded.
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Bracketed duration is the measure of time between the first and last exceedence of a threshold acceleration 0.05 g.

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Other Spectral Parameters

RMS acceleration : This is the parameter that includes the effects of amplitude and frequency, defined as


1 Td a t Td 0


Where a(t) is the acceleration over the time domain and Td is the duration of strong motion AI - The Arias Intensity is a measure of the total energy at the recording station and is proportional to the sum of the squared acceleration. It is defined as





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Other Spectral Parameters

SI - The Spectrum Intensity is defined as the integral of the pseudoSpectral velocity curve (also known as the velocity response spectrum), integrated between periods of 0.1 - 2.5 seconds. These quantities are motivated by the need to examine the response of structures to ground motion, as many structures have fundamental periods between 0.1 and 2.5 sec. The SI can be calculated for any structural damping ratio.

Dominant frequency of ground motion (Fd) is defined as the frequency corresponding to the peak value in the amplitude spectrum. Thus, Fd indicates the frequency for which the ground motion has the most energy. The amplitude spectrum has to be smoothed before determining Fd.
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Other Spectral Parameters

Predominant Period (Tp): Period of vibration corresponding to the maximum value of the Fourier amplitude spectrum. This parameter represents the frequency content of the motion. The predominant period for two different ground motions with different frequency contents can be same, making the estimation of frequency content crude. Bandwidth (BW) - of the dominant frequency; measured where the amplitude falls to 0.707 (1 /sq. root 2) of the amplitude of the dominant frequency. Again, this is based on a smoothed amplitude spectrum.
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Fourier Amplitude



Tp is same for the two ground motions, though the frequency content is different


n n 0

G ( )d

Other Spectral Parameters

Central Frequency: Power spectral density function can be used to estimate statistical properties of ground motion. The nth spectral moment and central frequency ( ) is given by,

n n 0

G ( )d

2 0

Central frequency is used to calculate theoretical median peak acceleration as follows,

umax 2
0 ln 2.8

Td 2

Shape Factor It indicates the dispersion of the power spectral density function about the central frequency, 2 It lies between 0 and 1, higher value 1 1 indicates larger bandwidth. 0 2
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Other Spectral Parameters

vmax/amax ratio: It is related to the frequency content of the motion. For SHM with period T, vmax/amax = T/2 . Seed and Idriss (1982) proposed average values of vmax/amax for different sites within 50 km of source. Rock 0.056 sec., Stiff soils (<200ft) 0.112 sec., Deep stiff soil (>200ft) 0.138 sec.

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Spatial variability of ground motions

The ground motion parameters at any site depend upon the magnitude of earthquake and the distance of the site from epicenter. The ground motion parameters measured at a site have been used to develop empirical relationships to predict the parameters as functions of earthquake magnitude and source-to-site distance. But these predictions are not accurate. For structures that extend over considerable distance (such as bridges and pipelines), the ground motion parameters will be different at different part of the structure, causing differential movement of the supports. Local variation of ground motion parameters need to be considered for the design of such structures.
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Amplitude Parameters - Estimation

Predictive relationships for parameters (like peak acceleration, peak velocity) which decrease with increase in distance are called attenuation relationships. Peak Acceleration Campbell (1981) developed attenuation relationship for mean PHA for sites within 50 km of fault rupture in magnitude 5.0 to 7.7 earthquakes: ln PHA(g) = - 4.141+0.868M 1.09 ln [R+0.0606 exp(0.7M)] Where M = ML for magnitude < 6 or Ms for magnitude > 6, R is the closest distance to fault rupture in km.

Latest mostly used relationship in western North America is given by Boore et al. (1993)
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Amplitude Parameters - Estimation

Attenuation relationship in western North America is given by Boore et al. (1993)
(From North American Earthquakes (magnitude 5-7.7) within 100 km of surface projection of fault)

Log PHA(g) = b1+b2(Mw-6)+b3(Mw-6)2+b4R+b5logR+b6Gb+b7Gc

R = (d2+h2)1/2, d = closest distance to the surface projection of the fault in km.

= 0 for site class A Gb = 1 for site class B Gc

= 0 for site class A = 0 for site class B

= 0 for site class C

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= 1 for site class C


(Site classes are defined next slide on the basis of the avg. Vs in the upper 30 m).

Definitions of Site Classes for Boore et al. (1993) Attenuation Relationship

Coefficients for Attenuation Relationships of Boore et al. (1993)

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Attenuation Relationship for peak horizontal rock acceleration by Toro et al., 1994 (for mid continent of North America)
ln PHA (g) = 2.2+0.81(Mw-6)-1.27 lnRm+0.11 max[ln (Rm/100), 0]-0.0021Rm
lnPHA =


2 1/2 r )

Where Rm = (R2+9.32)1/2, R being closest horizontal distance to earthquake rupture (in km), m = 0.36 + 0.07(Mw-6), and
= 0.54 for R < 5 km

= 0.54-0.0227(R-5) for 5 km <= R <= 20 km

= 0.2 for R > 20 km

Attenuation relationship for subduction zone (Youngs et al., 1988)

ln PHA (g) = 19.16 + 1.045Mw 4.738 ln [R+205.5exp(0.0968Mw)] + 0.54 Zt = 1.55-0.125Mw, R = closest distance to the zone of rupture in km and Zt = 0 for interface and 1 for intraslab events

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Peak Velocity Attenuation Relationships (Joyner and Boore, 1988)

(for earthquake magnitudes 5-7.7) log PHV (cm/sec) = j1+j2(M-6)+j3(M-6)2+j4logR+j5R+j6 Where PHV can be selected as randomly oriented or larger horizontal component

R = (r02+j72)1/2, and r0 is the shortest distance (km) from the site to the vertical projection of the EQ fault rupture on the surface of the earth.

The coefficients ji are given in the table below:

Coefficients after Joyner & Boore (1988) for PHV Attenuation Relationship

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Fourier Amplitude Spectra

If fmax is assumed constant for a given geographic region (15 Hz and 20 Hz are typical values for Western & Eastern North America respectively), then the spectra for different quakes are functions of seismic moments M0 and fc which can be related (Brune, 1970 & 1971) thus:

1/ 3


4.9 10 vs


Where vs is in km/sec, M0 is in dyne-cm, and is referred to as stress parameter or stress drop in bars. Values of 50 bars and 100 bars are common for stress parameters of Western & Eastern North America respectively.

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Ratio vmax/amax
This ratio is proportional to the magnitude and distance dependencies proposed by McGuire (1978) as shown in the table below:

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Estimation of other parameters

RMS Acceleration
Hanks and McGuire (1981) used a database of California earthquake of local magnitude 4.0 to 7.0 to develop an attenuation relationship for RMS acceleration for hypocentral distances between 10 and 100 km,



f max / f c R

where fc is the corner frequency, fmax is the cutoff frequency, and R is in kilometer.

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Kavazanjian et al. (1985) used the definition of duration proposed by Vanmarcke and Lai (1980) with a database of 83 strong motion records from 18 different earthquakes to obtain
arms 0.472 0.268M w 0.966 0.129 log R2 0.255 R 0.1167 R

where R is the distance to the closest point of rupture on the fault. The database was restricted to Mw > 5, R < 110 km (68 mi), rupture depths less than 30 km (19 mi), and soil thicknesses greater than 10 m (33 ft).

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Arias Intensity
Campbell and Duke (1974) used data from California earthquakes to predict the variation of Arias intensity within 15 to 110 km (9 to 68 mi) of magnitude 4.5 to 8.5 events.
I a m / sec 313 e
M s 0.33M s 1.47 3.79

0.57R0.46 where S 1.02R0.51 0.37R0.81 0.65R0.74

for basement rock for sedimentary rock for alluvium 60ft thick for alluvium > 60ft thick

and R is the distance from the center of the energy release in kilometers.
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Wilson (1993) analyzed strong motion records from California to develop an attenuation relation which, using the Arias intensity definition of equation which can be expressed as

log I a m / sec


2 log R kR 3.990 0.365(1 P)

where R D2 h2 D is the minimum horizontal distance to the vertical projection of the fault plane, h is a correction factor (with a default value of 7.5 km (4.7 mi)), k is a coefficient of inelastic absorption (with default value of zero), and P is the exceedance probability.

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D. Choudhury, IIT Bombay, India