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PICE 2019 Midyear National Convention and Technical Conference

Theme: Competency Advancement Towards CE 4.0


SMX Convention Center & SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, Philippines
13 - 15 June 2019

THE 05 MARCH 2017 Ms5.9 SURIGAO EARTHQUAKE AFTERSHOCK


STRONG MOTION TIME HISTORIES

Henremagne C. PEÑARUBIA, Roberto B. Tiglao and Azdine Kay S. Ysulan


Strong Motion and Earthquake Engineering Section - Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division
Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology-Department of Science and Technology
Quezon City, Philippines

Abstract: The 10 February 2017 Ms6.7 offshore Surigao Earthquake wreaked havoc in Surigao del Norte and vicinity. Surface
rupture in the Municipality of San Francisco, Surigao del Norte where landslide, liquefaction and damage to man-made structures
were heaviest prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology - Department of Science and Technology
(PHIVOLCS-DOST) to immediately install strong motion accelerographs to capture the aftershocks sequence. Acceleration time
histories at eight (8) locations captured the largest aftershock event on 05 March 2017 with a surface magnitude of Ms5.9. Largest
recorded ground accelerations exceeded 0.4g. Site responses due to distance, orientation and site geology were analyzed and will
be presented.

Key Words: strong motion accelerographs, acceleration time histories, site responses

1 INTRODUCTION motion was recorded by the quickly-installed strong motion


accelerographs around the epicentral area of the mainshock.
At 10:03 in the evening of the 10th of February 2017, a
Ms6.7 earthquake struck northeastern Mindanao and
southern Leyte. It was felt in the neighboring Islands of
Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Dinagat and Siargao, but was most
damaging to engineered structures in San Francisco,
Surigao del Norte (SDN) and Surigao City (Peñarubia, et
al., 2017). More than 4 kilometers of fault rupture was
mapped in San Francisco, SDN (The 10 February 2017
Magnitude 6.7 Surigao del Norte Earthquake Primer,
PHIVOLCS Quick Response Team, April 2017) although
the epicenter was plotted offshore (Philippine Institute of
Volcanology and Seismology – Department of Science and
Technology (PHIVOLCS-DOST) website at
http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph). This event is only about
1/20th in size of the largest known historical earthquake in
the vicinity (Perez and Tsutsumi, 2017; Peñarubia, H.C.,
2017). Only one component of all seismic sensors installed
at PHIVOLCS’ Seismic Station located at the Provincial
Capitol compound in Surigao City recorded the event
(~0.4g) as all other seismometers in operation were either
physically toppled or electronically-clipped during the
ground shaking. The maximum probable ground motion
hazard in the area with 10% probability of exceedance in 50
years ranges from 0.4g to 0.5g (PHIVOLCS, 2017).

On the 5th of March 2017, a Ms5.9 aftershock struck at 8:08


in the morning. The strongest ground shaking was felt in
Surigao City at intensity VI and caused damage to structures
already weakened by the mainshock. This time, the ground
Fig 1. The Ms5.9 Surigao Earthquake Aftershock

Peñarubia, H.C., Tiglao, R.B., Ysulan, A.K.S (2019). The 05 March 2017 Ms5.9 Surigao Earthquake Aftershock Strong Motion Time Histories. Proceedings of
the PICE 2019 Midyear National Convention and Technical Conference, SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, Philippines.
Figure 1 is the Ms5.9 aftershock earthquake information
issued by PHIVOLCS-DOST that occurred in the morning
of March 5. The epicenter (offshore) was located at 9.77N
and 125.38E or 12 km SW of Surigao City at a shallow
depth of 10km. This aftershock caused panic and some
damage to already weakened structures in the densely
populated City of Surigao, the seat of the City and
Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte. This event
was also felt in Butuan City, Gingoog City and Cagayan de Fig. 3 ETNA2 tri-axial accelerograph installed at SCH
Oro City in Misamis Oriental.

1.1 Objective
The purpose of this study is to present and discuss the
recorded strong motion acceleration time histories (ATH) in
the 05 March 2019 Ms5.9 Surigao earthquake aftershock.

1.2 Methodology
Ground accelerations recorded at five (5) strong motion
stations using similarly-set accelerographs (ETNA2, 2016) Fig. 4 Sensor protected with light plastic casing at MMCS
installed on strategic locations were retrieved and
processed. ATH at each recording site will be presented Figure 3 and Figure 4 shows the north-oriented ETNA2
considering distance, site condition and orientation with accelerographs installed at Surigao City Hall (SCH). and at
respect to the epicenter. A summary of the analysis will be Maradjao Magbalantay College Seminary (MMCS).
posited in the discussion and concluding remarks. Similar setup was mounted and housed on the ground level
at San Francisco Municipal Building in San Francisco, SDN
1.3 The Strong Motion Network (SFSN), in Surigao Airport (SCAP), and in Surigao City
National High School (SCN). The recording trigger level
for all sensors at each station was set at 0.015% of full scale
(FS) while the de-trigger level was set at 0.01%.

1.4 Geotectonic Setting


The Philippine archipelago is geotectonically a group of
crustal blocks straddled from north to south with many
active faults and surrounding trenches. Surigao del Norte
and most of the Philippines is contained in the Philippine
Mobile Belt (PMB) which is a zone of deformation and
active seismicity that accommodates large stresses caused
by the northwestward movement of the Philippine Sea
Plate. This zone is bounded by two large-scale structural
features that appear to have a significant influence on the
Fig. 2 Location of Strong Motion Stations
geologic and tectonic development of the region.
Few days after the mainshock, PHIVOLCS-DOST installed The Philippine Trench is a west-dipping submarine trench
a strong motion network plotted in Quantum GIS (QGIS, found directly east of the Philippines while the east dipping
2009) in Figure 2, composed of tri-axial accelerographs Manila-Negros-Sulu-Cotabato trench system is situated
(full scale = 2.5g) and set for continuous aftershocks along which the marginal basins are found (i.e., South China
monitoring in San Francisco, Surigao del Norte and Surigao Sea, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea) and where the eastern edge
City as summarized in Table 1. Areal distances from the of the Eurasian Plate is being subducted (Rangin &
offshore epicenter (star) is in kilometers while the black thin Pubellier, 1990; Ringenbach et al., 1993). The multi-
lines delineate the municipal and city roads. The stations stranded Philippine Fault System (PFS) is the longest active
(triangles) are overlain on the municipal boundary fault in the archipelago. It consists of several segments from
(NAMRIA, PSA, 2018) and road maps (philgis, 2011) of northern Luzon to southeastern Mindanao that produces
Surigao City and San Francisco, Surigao del Norte. plenty of earthquakes in a day, most of which are not felt.

Table 1 – Accelerograph Network One of the segments of the PFS mapped by PHIVOLCS is
Station Code latitude longitude Distance the Surigao Fault. It is the northernmost segment in
San Francisco, SDN SFSN 9.7767 125.4214 4.7 Mindanao Island that is 100 km long, which is continuous
Surigao National HS SCN 9.79 125.4837 11.8 and traverses the eastern margin of Malimono Ridge to the
Surigao City Hall SCH 9.7916 125.4932 12.8
Maradjao Magbalantay MMCS 9.7603 125.463 9.3
western edge of Eastern Mindanao Ridge (Perez and
College Seminary Tsutsumi, 2016). It is the generator of the 10 February 2017
Surigao Airport SCAP 9.7618 125.48178 11.5 Ms6.7 offshore Surigao Earthquake mainshock and

Peñarubia, H.C., Tiglao, R.B., Ysulan, A.K.S (2019). The 05 March 2017 Ms5.9 Surigao Earthquake Aftershock Strong Motion Time Histories. Proceedings of
the PICE 2019 Midyear National Convention and Technical Conference, SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, Philippines.
aftershocks including the 05 March 2017 Mw5.9 seismic motion is noticeably predominant on all vertical
event presented in this study. components (UD) and at SCH (NS) while longer period
undulation is exhibited most at SCN, at SFSN and at SCAP.
2 ILLUSTRATIONS AND CALCULATIONS Site response at MMCS was comparatively predominant at
higher frequency, lower amplitude and shorter duration than
2.1 Acceleration Time History that of the other four stations.
The strong motion accelerograph network recorded the
Ms5.9 aftershock in just a few seconds after the event Table 2 is a list of the wave onset at every sensor (earliest
nucleation. ATH peak amplitude in gals (cm/sec/sec) and arrival per station in italics) and the longest duration above
20-second seismic wave duration (including pre-event time) de-trigger threshold (0.01% of FS) at each respective
for each component at every station are presented on two station.
general seismic wave directions: the SFSN–SCN–SCH
(east-northeast) and the SFSN–MMCS–SCAP (east-
southeast) orientation with respect to the causative fault’s
epicenter. Waveforms recorded at each station were
arranged from top to bottom as north-south (upper
signature), east-west (middle) and up-down components
(bottom signature).

Fig. 6 Time histories at SFSN-MMCS-SCAP

Table 2 – Seismic wave arrival and duration (sec)


00:08:17 NS EW UD Duration
SFSN 4.69 4.69 4.54 11.56 NS
SCN 5.42 4.75 4.6 9.78 UD
SCH 4.59 4.57 4.59 10.05 EW
MMCS 4.2 4.23 4.27 6.81 NS
SCAP 4.59 4.57 4.59 10.05 EW
Fig. 5 Time histories at SFSN-SCN-SCH

Figure 5 displays the ATH recorded on each orthogonal 3 DISCUSSION


component at SFSN-SCN-SCH stations. From these time
histories, arrival times, maximum amplitudes, frequency Surigao City is the capital of Surigao del Norte. It is situated
content and wave duration above threshold may be in the northeastern part of Mindanao. Due west of the city
identified and evaluated. The peak acceleration values for is the Municipality of San Francisco, Surigao del Norte.
all stations were captured by the horizontal components, Five (5) of the eight (8) immediately-installed strong motion
except at MMCS, Figure 6, where the maximum value was stations intended for continuous aftershocks monitoring
recorded by its vertical sensor. High-frequency ground were selected due to their linear orientation and proximity

Peñarubia, H.C., Tiglao, R.B., Ysulan, A.K.S (2019). The 05 March 2017 Ms5.9 Surigao Earthquake Aftershock Strong Motion Time Histories. Proceedings of
the PICE 2019 Midyear National Convention and Technical Conference, SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, Philippines.
to the 05 March 2017 Ms5.9 aftershock (Figure 1). This geophysical surveys may be needed to verify the underlying
event is only about 1/24th of the size of the mainshock in strata and potential hazard due to liquefaction. Strict
terms of energy released. The Mw6.5 mainshock overturned adherence to the National Building Code and its referral
and clipped all seismic sensors at PHIVOLCS’ Seismic code, the National Structural Code of the Philippines is
Station situated in the Provincial Capitol compound in vigorously encouraged and site-specific geotechnical
Surigao City except one, which recorded a ~0.4g peak investigation is strongly recommended prior to construction
acceleration (Peñarubia, 2017) at approximately 15 km of essential, mid-to-high-rise, long-span, critical and
distant in the SE direction, which in turn, is only about 1/20th hazardous structures and facilities in the vicinity of SCH,
of the largest documented historical earthquake (Perez and SCN, SCAP and SFSN.
Tsutsumi, 2017) generated by the southern section of the
Surigao segment of the PFS. The strong motion network 4 CONCLUDING REMARKS
(Figure 2) were well within 13 km-radius from the
aftershock epicenter, where SFSN is the closest at 4.7 km Results from the analyses made of the recorded time
and SCH the farthest at 12.8 km (Table 1). The acceleration histories reveal that the site response of a particular site
time histories (Figure 5 and Figure 6) at these stations from a particular earthquake source is critically dependent
reveal predominance of higher frequencies of vibration at on many factors such as site geology, site orientation and
the vertical components most especially at MMCS. The distance from the source. A slight change in these factors
seismic wave arrived earliest at MMCS by 1/3rd of a second may lead to a totally different ground acceleration time
than at SFSN (Table 2) which is twice the distance (4.6 km history on any particular point in the epicentral area. This
closer) to the epicenter (Table 1). The peak value at MMCS may imply that in simulating a particular earthquake event
was in the vertical component and the wave duration above on any specific location, the modeler should take extra care
the threshold is shortest of all the records. This is in contrast in considering these specific parameters in order to produce
with all the other stations peaking in the horizontal appropriate results. Not included in this study were the
component with significantly longer durations (difference seismic capacity of a particular source, probability of
ranging from 2.97 sec with SCH and 4.75 sec with SFSN). occurrence and variability in the focal mechanism (strike,
dip, rake, etc.). Hence, in seismic design modeling of
Stations located in San Francisco, SDN and Surigao City structures, the use of a specific past earthquake time history
had a maximum wave arrival time difference at a rapid 1.22 that took place in another location with totally different
sec (Table 2), with MMCS being shaken quickest and the parameters, may significantly result to a different structural
seismic wave lingering the most at SFSN. It appears that response compared to the building response in an actual
MMCS is located in a denser site geology with little or no earthquake event. The authors propose to the structural
overlying surface sediment at all, where seismic waves designers to better consider the historical earthquake
travel faster and site response dissipates rapidly relative to events’ (earthquakes that actually occurred in the past, if
sites underlain with less dense material or thick sediments. available) parameters (magnitude and hypocentral depth),
The other four stations were sited in a similar geology of the nearby active sources’ seismic potential (most probable
recent sedimentary environment deposits which could be and maximum credible earthquake based on source
alluvial, fluviatile, lacustrine, paludal, and beach deposits geometry and activity rate) and the faulting style that
that has been eroded, and reshaped by water in some form actually occurred in their area of interest.
and redeposited in a non-marine setting. It is typically made
up of a variety of materials including fine particles of silt ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
and clay to larger particles of sand and gravel depending on
its environmental occurrence (Philippine Geological and Grateful acknowledgment is hereby extended to the Strong
Tectonic Map Committee, 1963; Peña, R.E., 2008). In Motion and Earthquake Engineering Section staff of the
contrast, MMCS was positioned in an area largely quartz Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction
diorite (Bureau of Mines, 1963), an igneous rock that is Division – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and
significantly denser compared to the site geology of the Seismology of the Department of Science and Technology
other stations. The most intense horizontal ground for providing the acceleration records of the Ms5.9 Surigao
acceleration was recorded at SCAP (408.5 cm/s/s or 0.42g) earthquake aftershock. To DOST-Usec Renato U. Solidum
followed by that at SCH (397.5 cm/s/s), at SFSN (390.2 Jr. for the official support, to T. Kashima of Building
cm/s/s) and least at SCN (243.5 cm/s/s). 1 g is equivalent to Research Institute, Japan for the strong motion acceleration
981 cm/s/s. The differences in site response at these five (5) viewer and to PICE 2019 MNCTC Technical Committee for
specific stations may largely be influenced but not limited providing the avenue to present this study. Lastly, our
to the breadth of the sedimentary basin, the lithology of the utmost gratitude to our families for their unfailing
upper 30 meters of soil layer, the depth to the seismic understanding and considerable support in writing, editing
bedrock, and the natural period of the building where the and actually completing this work.
instruments were installed.

For all these strong motion sites, geophysical subsurface


exploration such as boreholes or non-destructive

Peñarubia, H.C., Tiglao, R.B., Ysulan, A.K.S (2019). The 05 March 2017 Ms5.9 Surigao Earthquake Aftershock Strong Motion Time Histories. Proceedings of
the PICE 2019 Midyear National Convention and Technical Conference, SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, Philippines.
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Peñarubia, H.C., Tiglao, R.B., Ysulan, A.K.S (2019). The 05 March 2017 Ms5.9 Surigao Earthquake Aftershock Strong Motion Time Histories. Proceedings of
the PICE 2019 Midyear National Convention and Technical Conference, SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premier, Davao City, Philippines.