Journal of Seismology

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 545–558 | Cite as

S-wave velocity structures of sediments estimated from array microtremor records and site responses in the near-fault region of the 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan earthquake

  • Satoh Toshimi
  • Hiroshi Kawase
  • Tomotaka Iwata
  • Sadanori Higashi
  • Sato Toshiaki
  • Huey-Chu Huang
Article

Abstract

The 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan earthquake, MW = 7.6, caused severe damage in the near-fault region of the earthquake. In order to evaluate site effects in the near-field strong motions we estimate S-wave velocity structures of sediments at four sites using array records of microtremors. We also recalculated S-wave velocity structures at other four sites previously reported. To show the validity of the estimated S-wave velocity structures we separate empirical site responses from aftershock records using the generalized inversion method and show the agreement between empirical and theoretical site responses. We also show an observed fact that suggests soil nonlinearity during the Chi-Chi earthquake by comparing horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratios (HVRs) for main shock records with HVRs for aftershock records. Then we calculate one-dimensional equivalent-linear site responses using the estimated S-wave velocity structures and the main shock records observed on the surface. It is found that site amplification due to thick (about 6 km) sediments is one of the important factors for explaining the long-period velocity pulses of about 5 to 10 sec observed at sites in the footwall during the Chi-Chi earthquake. It is also found that the theoretical site responses of shallow soft sediments at sites that sustained severe damage in the hanging wall shows significant amplification around 1 sec. As the amplitude of velocity pulses with period around 1 sec is most critical in causing damage to ordinary buildings of moderate heights, our results suggest that the 1-sec period velocity pulses, amplified by the site response of shallow sediments should contribute to the severe damage during the Chi-Chi earthquake.

Key words

array observation inversion microtremor Rayleigh-wave site response strong motion records the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake velocity structure 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satoh Toshimi
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Kawase
    • 2
  • Tomotaka Iwata
    • 3
  • Sadanori Higashi
    • 4
  • Sato Toshiaki
    • 1
  • Huey-Chu Huang
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Technology, Shimizu CorporationTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Architecture and Urban Design, Faculty of Human-Environment StudiesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan
  3. 3.Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Geotechnical & Earthquake Engineering DepartmentCentral Research Institute of Electric Power IndustryChibaJapan
  5. 5.Institute of SeismologyNational Chung-Cheng UniversityChia-YiTaiwan

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