Surveys in Geophysics

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 25–83

Estimating ground motions using recorded accelerograms

  • Thomas H. Heaton
  • Fumiko Tajima
  • Ann Wildenstein Mori


A procedure for estimating ground motions using recorded accelerograms is described. The premise of the study is the assumption that future ground motions will be similar to those observed for similar site and tectonic situations in the past. Direct techniques for scaling existing accelerograms have been developed, based on relative estimates of local magnitude,ML. Design events are described deterministically in terms of fault dimension, tectonic setting (stress drop), fault distance, and site conditions. A combination of empirical and theoretical arguments is used to develop relationships betweenML and other earthquake magnitude scales. In order to minimize scaling errors due to lack of understanding of the physics of strong ground motion, the procedure employs as few intermediate scaling laws as possible. The procedure conserves a meaningful measure of the uncertainty inherent when predicting ground motions from simple parameterizations of earthquake sources and site conditions.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Heaton
    • 1
  • Fumiko Tajima
    • 1
  • Ann Wildenstein Mori
    • 2
  1. 1.Dames and MooreLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Exxon Production Research Co.HoustonUSA
  3. 3.U.S.G.S., Calif, Inst. Tech.PasadenaUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Geophysicsthe University of TexasAustinUSA
  5. 5.Seismological LaboratoryCalif. Inst. Tech.PasadenaUSA

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