Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 71–111

Ground motions observed during the 15 August 2007 Pisco, Peru, earthquake

  • Hernando Tavera
  • Isabel Bernal
  • Fleur O. Strasser
  • Maria C. Arango-Gaviria
  • John E. Alarcón
  • Julian J. Bommer
Original Research Paper


A Mw 7.9 earthquake event occurred on 15 August 2007 off the coast of central Peru, 60 km west of the city of Pisco. This event is associated with subduction processes at the interface of the Nazca and South American plates, and was characterised by a complex source mechanism involving rupture on two main asperities, with unilateral rupture propagation to the southeast. The rupture process is clearly reflected in the ground motions recorded during this event, which include two separate episodes of strong shaking. The event triggered 18 accelerographic stations; the recordings are examined in terms of their characteristics and compared to the predictions of ground-motion prediction equations for subduction environments, using the maximum-likelihood-based method of Scherbaum et al. (Bull Seismol Soc Am 94(6):2164–2185, 2004). Additionally, macroseismic observations and damage patterns are examined and discussed in the light of local construction practices, drawing on field observations gathered during the post-earthquake reconnaissance missions.


Pisco earthquake Peru-Chile Trench Subduction ground-motions Ground-motion prediction Duration Source complexity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hernando Tavera
    • 1
  • Isabel Bernal
    • 1
  • Fleur O. Strasser
    • 2
  • Maria C. Arango-Gaviria
    • 2
  • John E. Alarcón
    • 3
  • Julian J. Bommer
    • 2
  1. 1.Dirección de SismologíaInstituto Geofísico del PerúAte, LimaPeru
  2. 2.Civil and Environmental EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Ove Arup & PartnersLondonUK

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