Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 168, Issue 1–2, pp 201–216 | Cite as

Three-Dimensional Seismic Wave Propagation by Modal Summation: Method and Validation

  • C. La Mura
  • T. B. Yanovskaya
  • F. Romanelli
  • G. F. Panza


It is an acquired result that, in order to enable realistic earthquake hazard assessment and reliable estimation of the ground motion response to an earthquake, three-dimensional velocity models have to be considered. In this paper we present a new analytical procedure for determining the seismic wavefield in a 3D anelastic model based on the combination of the ray theory with the modal summation method. The proposed procedure has been validated by considering the three-dimensional model of the Kanto basin (Japan) available in the literature. Three-dimensional simulations were performed for the 1990 Odawara earthquake. The results obtained were compared both with recorded signals and with simulations available in the literature for several stations located within the Kanto basin. Besides the advantage of being a useful tool for assessment of seismic hazard and seismic risk reduction, it is characterized by high efficiency, in fact, once the study region is identified and the 3D model is constructed, the computation, at each station, of the three components of the synthetic signal (displacement, velocity, and acceleration) takes less than 3 h on a 2 GHz CPU.


3D models modal summation Ray-method 



The authors acknowledge financial support through the PNRA 2004/2.7-2.8.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. La Mura
    • 1
  • T. B. Yanovskaya
    • 2
  • F. Romanelli
    • 1
  • G. F. Panza
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Institute of PhysicsSt. Petersburg UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, ESP SectionTriesteItaly

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