Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 1853–1880 | Cite as

Ground motion prediction equations for the Chilean subduction zone

  • Benjamín Idini
  • Fabián Rojas
  • Sergio Ruiz
  • César Pastén
Original Research Paper


The Chilean subduction zone is one of the most active in the world. Six events of magnitude greater than \(M_w = 7.5\) have occurred in the last 10 years, including the 2010 \(M_w = 8.8\) Maule, the 2014 \(M_w = 8.2\) Iquique, and the 2015 \(M_w = 8.3\) Illapel earthquakes. These events have produced a considerable dataset to study interface thrust and intraslab intermediate depth earthquakes. In this paper, we present a database of strong motion records for Chilean subduction zone earthquakes and develop a ground motion prediction equation (GMPE) for peak ground acceleration and response spectral accelerations with 5% damping ratio for periods between 0.01 and 10 s. The dynamic soil amplification effects are considered in a new empirical model based on two parameters, the predominant period of the soil (\(T^*\)) and the average shear wave velocity down to 30 m depth (\(V_{S30}\)). The spectral accelerations prediction equations at short periods are generated using 114 records of intraslab earthquakes (\(M_w\) = 5.5–7.8) and 369 records of interface earthquakes (\(M_w\) = 5.5–8.8); a reduced number of these records are used for longer periods. The proposed GMPE can predict the ground motion of large Chilean subduction earthquakes (\(M_w > 8\)) with no need of extrapolation from small-magnitude earthquake data. Intraslab earthquakes show a steeper attenuation slope than that of interface ones, which is consistent with other GMPE results derived from worldwide subduction zones data. Moreover, the Chilean interface earthquakes show a flatter attenuation slope relative to the Japanese ones.


Ground motion prediction equations Chilean subduction zone Site effects Response spectra 



This study was partially financially supported by Chile’s National Commission on Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) for the Fondecyt Initiation into Research 2014 projects, National Research Funding Competition under Grant Nos. 11140429 and 11130230, and by CONICYT-PCHA/MagísterNacional/2014 - 22140466. We are grateful to RENADIC and CSN, both from the University of Chile, for transfering the raw data of their networks to us.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Advanced Mining Technology Center, FCFMUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Department of GeophysicsUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile

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