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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 11

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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Earthquake Magnitude

ML - Local (Richter) magnitude

MW - Seismic Moment magnitude

MS - Surface wave magnitude


Body wave magnitude

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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). 10
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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 25 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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