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BANDA ACEH-INDONESIA GROUND


RESPONSE ANALYSIS DURING THE 2004
INDIAN OCEAN MEGA EARTHQUAKE
Conference Paper April 2013

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Syiah Kuala University
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BANDA ACEH-INDONESIA GROUND RESPONSE ANALYSIS DURING THE 2004


INDIAN OCEAN MEGA EARTHQUAKE
Bambang Setiawan
Syiah Kuala University
Banda Aceh, Aceh-INDONESIA 23111

Wahyu Budi Kusuma


Geological Agency of Indonesia - Center of Groundwater Resources &
Environmental Geology
Bandung, Jawa Barat-INDONESIA 40212

ABSTRACT
The site response effect i.e. soil amplification has caused major structure damages founded on thick soft soils. Banda Aceh, Indonesia
is underlain by approximately 70m to 206m thick alluvium. Thus, site-specific ground response analysis of Banda Aceh is necessary
to be warranted. Due to the absence of strong motion records during the 2004 Indian Ocean mega earthquake duplication of synthetic
strong motions are used in this study. Subsequently, ground response analysis was carried out by using computer programs of NERA.
The results of the site-specific ground response studies expose the real Banda Acehs soil response during the 2004 Sumatran mega
earthquake. Peak ground acceleration at soil site, maximum amplification ratio, the response spectra and fundamental frequency of the
maximum response spectra are presented.
Keywords: peak ground acceleration, site-specific ground response analysis

INTRODUCTION
The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman mega earthquake is the second
largest recorded earthquake (Bilham, 2005). The event caused
a 1300km rupture length which consists of 7 different
segments from northwestern Sumatra to the Andaman Islands
(Lay et al., 2005) or more than 1600km (Bilham, 2005). The
duration of the event is the longest period of earthquake ever
which is more than 600s. However, the site response effects
triggered by this event for the soil at Banda Aceh, Indonesia
havent been investigated yet.
The damage pattern of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake is the
extreme evidence of the site response effects. The peak ground
acceleration (PGA) of the incoming motions in rock (<0.04g)
during the Michoacan earthquake were amplified about five
times (Finn & Wightman, 2003). The quake caused severe
damage to structures in the area founded on 30m old lakebed
deposits as shown in Figure 1. The recorded ground motions
of both within the lakebed site and in the rock site of the city
are shown in Figures 2 and 3. The figures show that the
horizontal North-South (NS) ground motion and East-West
(EW) ground motion are very much larger at the lakebed site
than at the rock site. Further investigation by Steedman et al.
(1986) and Booth et al, (1986) found that the period of the
ground motion at the most severe damage area (lakebed
deposit) approximately matches with the first mode of the high

Paper No. 4.04a

rise buildings as shown in the corresponding response spectra


(Figure 4). The figure shows clearly the dramatically
amplification of lakebed ground surface motion a frequency of
0.5Hz i.e. at a fundamental period of 2 seconds. Another
example is the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Major damage
of this quake occurred on soft soil sites in the San Francisco
Oakland region where the spectral accelerations were
amplified up to four times over adjacent rock sites (Housner
1989 cited by Finn & Wightman 2003). This soil amplification
phenomenon has been investigated by Idriss (1990). He found
that the bedrock accelerations were amplified in soft soils until
the peak rock acceleration reached about 0.4 g as shown in
Figure 5.
Site effects vary significantly in geological setting. Banda
Aceh lies in a structure-controlled basin of Krueng Aceh
which is bounded on either side by a major seismically active
fault, the Aceh Fault in the southwest and the Seulimum Fault
in the northeast as shown in Figure 6. So that, the Banda Aceh
plains will be tremble strongly when any seismic occurs
around it.
Site effects also vary considerably in soil properties. Banda
Aceh is underlain by very thick Alluvium (Siemon et. al.,
2006). The thickness of Alluvium near the coast of the city is

up to a depth of 206 m bgl. Visual evidences of the Alluvium


thickness are found at the Old Dutch wells at Ulee Lheue (158
m), Peukan Krueng Cot (125 m), and P. Perak (179 m).
Approximately ten kilometers in up-stream direction of the
Krueng Aceh, at Lambaro, the Alluvium has a minimum
thickness of 70 m. A schematic section of the Banda Aceh
Alluvium (Quaternary sands and clays) is shown in Figure 7.
Considering the geological setting and the soil properties of
Banda Aceh, a site-specific ground response analysis is
necessary to be warranted. By employing analytical model this
study is carried out. Several findings of this study are
presented in this paper. The findings include the ground
motion at soil level, the amplification, and response spectra.

Fig. 3. Ground surface motion records recorded at lakebed


site (Booth et al., 1986)

Fig. 1.The collapse building at the lake bed area


(Booth et al. 1986).

Fig. 4. Response spectra of recorded ground motions


(Booth et al. 1986).

Fig. 2. Ground surface motion records recorded at rock site


(Booth et al., 1986).

Paper No. 4.04a

Fig.5. Amplification of ground motions in soft soils and


associated rock sites (Idriss, 1990).

to characterise the study site. Sub-surface soil types profiling


were developed from the Siemon et al. (2006). Sub-surface
shear wave of each layer was estimated using Polom et al.
(2008). Shear wave in-situ testing by Polom et al. (2008) is
shown in Figures 9 and 10. A simplified representative soil
profile was selected for the analysis as shown in Table 1.

Fig. 6. Geological setting of Banda Aceh


(Barber & Crow, 2005)

Fig.8. Sequence of steps for site-specific ground response


analysis using NERA.
Fig. 7. Section of Banda Aceh plains
( Farr & Djaeni 1975)

RESEARCH METODOLOGY
Analytical model utilising a computer program, called NERA,
was employed in this study. A sequence of steps was
developed for this study. The sequence is shown in Figure 8.
Initially, site characterisation was carried out. The output of
the site characterisation process is a simplified soil profile to
represent the study site. Simultaneously, the earthquakes
motions were manipulated to suit the input format of the
computer programs. Both the simplified soil profile and
compatible earthquake motions were put in to the program for
the ground response analysis.

A. Characterisation of the site


The results of the soil sampling and in-situ testing by Siemon
et al. (2006) and Polom et al. (2008) at Banda Aceh were used

Paper No. 4.04a

Fig.9. Banda Aceh and surrounding area shear wave velocity


(Polom et al., 2008).

Fig.11. Simulated strong ground motions for the great


Sumatra-Andaman earthquake at Banda Aceh
(Sorensen et al., 2006)
Fig.10. Shear wave velocity profile at SMK Dirmutala
Stadium, Banda Aceh (Polom et al., 2008).
Table 1. Simplified soil profile for EERA
Total
Shear
Soil
Thickness
unit
wave
Material
of layer
References
weight
velocity
Type
(m)
3
(kN/m ) (m/sec)
Clay
Sand
Clay
Sand
Clay
Sand
Clay
Sand
Clay
Sand
Sand
Sand
Sand
Bedrock

2.5
15.5
7.7
6.0
18.6
14.3
11.3
4.0
1.1
40.0
20.0
15.0
15.0

14
19
14
19
14
19
18
24
20
24
24
24
24
24

142
142
281
361
361
361
361
361
331
331
401
520
520
700

Siemon et al.
(2006)
and
Polom et al.
(2008)

B. Modulus reduction and damping curves


Ideally for a site-specific ground response analysis, the
modulus reduction and damping curves are obtained from the
test of the study site samples. As there is no access to a
controlled cyclic triaxial apparatus for this study, the default
shear modulus-strain and damping ratio-strain curves in NERA
are used. Each curve represents a unique behaviour of the
shear modulus and damping ratio during strain.

Fig.12. Strong ground motions for this study

RESULTS OF THE SITE-SPECIFIC GROUND RESPONSE


ANALYSIS
The site-specific ground response analysis yielded the
following: peak ground acceleration; stress and strain at each
layer; amplification at the ground surface or the surface of
each layer; Fourier amplitude; and the response spectrum.
Three important outputs from the ground response analysis are
shown in Figures 13 to 15.

C. Earthquake motion input


It is an advantageous to use actual acceleration time-histories
that have been recorded at the study site or use recorded
motions that are somewhat similar in overall ground motion
level and spectral shape to those at the designated site.
However, compromises are required in this study because of
the numerous attributes of the seismic environment.
Duplication of simulated motion input developed by Sorensen
et al. (2006) was used in this study as shown in Figure 12.

Paper No. 4.04a

Fig.13. Peak ground acceleration at soil level at SMK


Dirmutala Stadium, Banda Aceh

Fig.14. Amplification ratio at soil level at SMK Dirmutala


Stadium, Banda Aceh

Fig.16. Part of 2010 Indonesian earthquake map

Fig.15. Response spectra at soil level at SMK Dirmutala


Stadium, Banda Aceh

DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS


The results of the site-specific ground response analysis,
Figures 11 to 13, demonstrate that the maximum PGA at
SMKDirmutala Stadium, Banda Aceh is 0.088g, maximum
amplification ratio is 3.109 at frequency 25.195Hz and the
maximum response spectrum at soil level is 0.72g at period of
0.4sec. The response spectrum at 0.2sec is 0.27g. This
spectrum suggests a poor agreement with the latest 2010
Indonesian earthquake map. According to this map, response
spectrum of Banda Aceh at 0.2 sec with 5% damping ratio for
50 years earthquake occurrence is vary from 0.7 to 0.9g as
shown in Figure 16.
The frequency domain of the response spectra of Banda
Acehs soil shows that the critical frequency at Banda Aceh is
between 2.0 to 8.0Hz as shown in Figure 17. This frequency is
the frequency of the ground motion at epicentral area of the
Michoacan earthquake. Generally, the frequency between 2.0
and 8.0Hz is the fundamental frequency of 2 to 4 storey
building.

Paper No. 4.04a

Fig.17. Comparison of frequency domain of response spectra


between response spectra at soil level at SMK Dirmutala
Stadium, Banda Aceh and at Lakebed area at Mexico City

Other interesting findings are found when a comparison


between the outputs of this analysis and the outputs of siteresponse analysis at the same site utilising EERA by Setiawan
and Taufiq (2012) was carried out. Comparison of several
critical outputs of both models is tabulated in Table 2.
The comparison shows that most all output parameters i.e.
peak ground acceleration (PGA) at soil level, maximum
amplification ratio, and response spectrum at 0.2 sec have very
poor agreement. The soil level PGA of NERA is only 0.088 g,
whereas EERA estimates the PGA of 0.204g. Maximum
amplification ratio of NERA is 3.1, but EERA predicts the
maximum amplification ratio of 18.3. Frequency of the
occurrence of this maximum amplification ratio of both
models also is very different. The max amplification ratio of
NERA occurs at frequency of 25.195Hz, but max

amplification ratio of NERA is at 0.6Hz. Response spectrum


at 0.2sec of NERA is 0.27g, but EERA predicts the response
spectrum at the same period of 0.65g.
A reasonably a good agreement between both NERA and
EERA models is for maximum response spectrum at ground
level. NERA estimates the maximum ground level response
spectrum of the study site of 0.72g at frequency of 2.44Hz and
EERA predicts it of 0.81g at frequency of 3.85Hz.

Table 2. Comparison several output of site-specific ground


response analysis at SMK Dirmutala Stadium, Banda Aceh
between site-specific ground response analysis utilising EERA
and NERA
Output parameters
Peak ground acceleration at soil level

Max amplification ratio

Max response spectrum at ground level

Response spectrum at 0.2 sec

REFERENCES
Barber, A.J. and Crow, M.J. [2005]. Chapter 13: Structure
and structural history.- In: Barber, A.J., Crow, M.J. &
Milsom, J.S. (eds.) (2005): Sumatra: Geology, Resources and
Tectonic Evolution.- 290 pp.; Geological Society, London.
Bardet, J. P., and Tobita, T. [2001]. NERA a computer
program for Nonlinear Earthquake site Response Analyses of
Layered soil deposits: Department of Civil Engineering,
University of Southern California.

EERA)*

NERA)**

Bennet, J.D., Bridge, D. McC., Cameron, N.R., Djunuddin, A.,


Ghazali, S.A., Jeffery, D.H., Kartawa, W., Keats, W., Rock,
N.M.S., Thomson, S.J., and Whandoyo, R., [1981]. Peta
Geologi Lembar Banda Aceh, Sumatra Skala 1:250.000,
Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Geologi, Bandung

0.204 g

0.088 g

Bilham, R., (2005). A Flying Start, Then a Slow Slip,


Science, 308, 11271133.

18.3 at
frequency
of 0.6 Hz
0.81 g at
frequency
of 3.85Hz

3.1 at
frequency of
25.195Hz
0.72 g at
frequency of
2.44 Hz

Booth, E.D., Pappin, J.W., Mills, J.H., Degg, M.R. and


Steedman, R.S. [1986]. "The Mexican Earthquake of 19th
September 1985". A field report by EEFIT, Institution of
Structural Engineers.

0.65 g

0.27 g

)* Study by Setiawan & Taufiq (2012)


)** Results of this study

CONCLUSIONS
The site effect has caused major structure damages founded on
thick soft soils. Banda Aceh, Indonesia is underlain by up to
206m thick alluvium. Thus, site-specific ground response
analysis of the city was carried out to establish the influential
parameters. This ground response analysis was carried out
using NERA computer program. The results of the sitespecific ground response studies expose the real Banda Acehs
soil response during the 2004 Sumatran mega earthquake.
Peak ground acceleration at study site of Banda Aceh is
0.088g. Maximum amplification ratio is 3.1 at frequency of
25.195Hz. Maximum response spectrum at ground level is
0.72 g at frequency of 2.44Hz. The response spectrum at
period of 0.2 sec is 0.27g. Most of the outputs of this sitespecific ground response analysis are in a poor agreement with
the existing seismic map and a site-specific ground response
analysis utilising equivalent-linear model.

Farr, J.L. and Djaeni, A. [1975]. A Reconnaissance


Hydrogeological Study of the Krueng Aceh Basin, North
Sumatra.- Report No. 1909 (GSI) / No. WD/OS/75/8 (IGS):
13 pp., Geological Survey of Indonesia (GSI), Engineering
Geology. Hydrogeology Sub-Directorate, Bandung, in
cooperation with the Engineering Geology Unit of the U.K.
Institute of Geological Sciences (IGS), London.
Finn, W. D. L., and Wightman, A. [2003]. Ground motion
amplification factors for the proposed 2005 edition of the
National Building Code of Canada. The National Research
Council Canada (NRC) Research Press Web.
Idriss, I. M. [1990]. Response of soft soil sites during
earthquakes. H. Bolton Seed Memorial Symposium,
Vancouver.
Lay, T., Kanamori,H., Ammon, C. J., Nettles, M., Ward, S.
N., Aster, R. C., Beck, S. L., Bilek, S. L., Brudzinski, M. R.,
Butler, R., DeShon, H. R., Ekstrom, G., Satake, K., and
Sipkin, S., [2005]. The great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake
of December 26, 2004, Science, 308, 11271133.

ACKNOWLEDMENTS

Pappin, J.W. [2010]. Earthquake hazard and risk in regions


low of low to moderate seismicity. Proceedings of the
Australian Geomechanics Society and NSW Association of
Consulting Structural Engineers Symposium. Sydney,
Australia, October 2010.

The authors wish to acknowledge LEMBAGA PENELITIANUNSYIAH for the finance assistance and support.

Polom, U., Arsyad, I., and Kumpel, H. J. [2008]. Shallow


shear-wave refelection seismics in the tsunami struck Krueng

Paper No. 4.04a

Aceh River Basin, Sumatra. Advances in Geosciences.


14,135-140
Setiawan, B. and Taufiq, S., [2012]. Preliminary results of
site-specific ground response analysis of Banda Aceh,
Indonesia, The 2nd Annual International Conference in
conjunction with the 8th IMT-GT UNINET Biosciences
Conference, Banda Aceh, Indonesia, 22 24 November 2012
(Full paper submitted)
Siemon, B., Ploethner, D., and Pielawa, J., [2006].
Hydrogeological Reconnaissance Survei in the Province
Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Northern Sumatra, Indonesia
Survei Area: Banda Aceh / Aceh Besar 2005, Report
Vol. C-1, BGR/Bundesanstalt fr Geowissenschaften und
Rohstoffe (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural
Resources).
Steedman, R.S., Booth, E.D., Pappin, J.W. and Mills, J.H.
[1986]. "The Mexico Earthquake of 19th September 1985,
some lessons for the engineer". Proc. 8th Euro. Conf. on
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Paper No. 4.04a