Natural Hazards

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 13–33 | Cite as

Nonlinear soil response to ground motions during different earthquakes in Nepal, to arrive at surface response spectra

  • Abhishek KumarEmail author
  • N. H. Harinarayan
  • Olympa Baro
Original Paper


Catastrophic damages reported during an earthquake include building damages, excessive ground shaking, uneven settlements and liquefaction. While most of the seismic hazard studies map the probable level of ground shaking at the bedrock level, their use in assessing the above damages is very limited until the response of the local soil is also taken into account. Determination of the local soil response needs regionally recorded ground motions, dynamic soil properties, in situ geotechnical details, etc., which most of the time are not readily available for the region under study. In the present work, the response of local soil for Nepal has been studied indirectly taking into account the surface level of ground shaking during various past as well as recent EQs observed at various locations. Based on the present analysis, a low value of amplification factor for high peak horizontal acceleration and vice versa is observed in central, western as well as southern parts of Nepal. These observations suggest nonlinear soil behavior and are in accordance with the available literature. Further, the ground motion records during 2015 Nepal EQ show maximum soil response at 0.3 s which is exactly matching with the site class C obtained from in situ data for the above locations. Based on the above observations, various correlations between the high peak horizontal acceleration and the surface spectral acceleration are proposed to obtained site specific surface response spectrum for Nepal.


Seismic hazard Local soil Amplification factor Surface response spectrum 


Compliance with ethical standards

The authors with their full knowledge ensure here that this work has not been submitted to any other journal in any form. Also the work presented here is original to this manuscript. Proper referencing has been done for all the necessary works published previously. In case the work is found matching or similar to other works, the Journal authorities have full right to reject the work and take needful action.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology GuwahatiGuwahatiIndia

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