Journal of Seismology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 1–42 | Cite as

Prediction of ground motion parameters for the volcanic area of Mount Etna

  • Giuseppina TusaEmail author
  • Horst Langer
Original Article


Ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) have been derived for peak ground acceleration (PGA), velocity (PGV), and 5 % damped spectral acceleration (PSA) at frequencies between 0.1 and 10 Hz for the volcanic area of Mt. Etna. The dataset consists of 91 earthquakes with epicentral distances between 0.5 and 100 km. Given the specific characteristics of the area, we divided our data set into two groups: shallow events (SE, focal depth <5 km), and deep events (DE, focal depth >5 km). The range of magnitude covered by the SE and the DE is 3.0 ≤ M L ≤ 4.3 and 3.0 ≤ M L ≤ 4.8, respectively. Signals of DE typically have more high frequencies than those of SE. These differences are clearly reflected in the empirical GMPEs of the two event groups. Empirical GMPEs were estimated considering several functional forms: Sabetta and Pugliese (Bull Seism Soc Am 77:1491–1513, 1987) (SP87), Ambraseys et al. (Earth Eng Struct Dyn 25:371–400, 1996) (AMB96), and Boore and Atkinson (Earth Spectra 24:99–138, 2008) (BA2008). From ANOVA, we learn that most of the errors in our GMPEs can be attributed to unmodeled site effects, whereas errors related to event parameters are limited. For DE, BA2008 outperforms the simpler models SP87 or AMB96. For SE, the simple SP87 is preferable considering the Bayesian Information Criterion since it proves more stable with respect to confidence and gives very similar or even lower prediction errors during cross-validation than the BA2008 model. We compared our results to relationships derived for Italy (ITA10, Bindi et al. Bull Earth Eng 99:2471–2488, 2011). For SE, the main differences are observed for distances greater than about 5 km for both horizontal and vertical PGAs. Conversely, for DE the ITA10 heavily overestimates the peak ground parameters for short distances.


Ground motion prediction equations Peak ground acceleration Peak ground velocity Acceleration response spectra Mount Etna 



This work has been carried out within the project “Estensione e Potenziamento dei sistemi di monitoraggio vulcanico e sismico della Sicilia” funded by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) and the Regione Siciliana (Convenzione INGV- Regione Siciliana 2006–2011). This study has also benefited from funding provided by the Italian Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri - Dipartimento della Protezione Civile (DPC), Project V3. This paper does not necessarily represent DPC official opinion and policies. G.T. benefited from funding provided by the MED-SUV project and SIGMA PON01_00683 project. The MED-SUV project has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) under Grant agreement no. 308665. The SIGMA PON01_00683 project is co-funded by FESR – Fondo Europeo di Sviluppo Regionale. We sincerely thank the editor Mariano Gracía Frenández, Antonio Emolo, and the anonymous reviewer who helped improve the quality of the manuscript. Our work benefited from the support by Stephen Convay for the english language correction.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio EtneoCataniaItaly

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