Natural Hazards

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 57–81 | Cite as

Hybrid broadband simulation of strong-motion records from the September 16, 1978, Tabas, Iran, earthquake (M w 7.4)

  • H. VahidifardEmail author
  • H. Zafarani
  • S. R. Sabbagh-Yazdi
Original Paper


This paper presents a simulation of three components of near-field ground shaking recorded during the main shock at three stations of the September 16, 1978, Tabas (M w = 7.4), Iran, earthquake, close to the causative fault. A hybrid method composed of a discrete wavenumber method developed by Bouchon (Bouchon in Bull Seismol Soc Am 71:959–971, 1981; Cotton and Coutant in Geophys J Int 128:676–688, 1997) and a stochastic finite-fault modeling based on a dynamic corner frequency proposed by Motazedian and Atkinson (Bull Seismol Soc Am 95:995–1010, 2005), modified by Assatourians and Atkinson (Bull Seismol Soc Am 97:935–1949, 2007), is used for generating the seismograms at low (0.1–1.0 Hz) and high frequencies (1.0–20.0 Hz), respectively. The results are validated by comparing the simulated peak acceleration, peak velocity, peak displacement, Arias intensity, the integral of velocity squared, Fourier spectrum and acceleration response spectrum on a frequency-by-frequency basis, the shape of the normalized integrals of acceleration and velocity squared, and the cross-correlation with the observed time-series data. Each characteristic is compared on a scale from 0 to 10, with 10 being perfect agreement. Also, the results are validated by comparing the simulated ground motions with the modified Mercalli intensity observations reported by reconnaissance teams and showed reasonable agreement. The results of the present study imply that the damage distribution pattern of the 1978 Tabas earthquake can be explained by the source directivity effect.


Hybrid broadband simulation Near field Tabas earthquake MMI observation Discrete wavenumber method Stochastic modeling technique 



The generosity of Karen Assatourians and Gail Atkinson for providing us with the source code of the EXSIM12 program is gratefully acknowledged. Our sincere thanks go to Olivier Coutant for providing us with the AXITRA package to calculate near-source seismograms with the discrete wavenumber method. The authors acknowledge the Building and Housing Research Centre of Iran for providing them with the accelerograms and shear-wave velocities used in the current study. H. Zafarani thanks the continuing support of the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology in the framework of the Probabilities of Earthquake Ruptures in Iran (PERSIA) project.


  1. Ameri G, Gallovič F, Pacor F (2012) Complexity of the Mw 6.3 2009 L’Aquila (central Italy) earthquake: 2. Broadband strong motion modeling. J Geophys Res Solid Earth 117:B04308. doi: 10.1029/2011JB008729
  2. Anderson JG (2004) Quantitative measure of the goodness-of-fit of synthetic seismograms. In: 13th world conference on earthquake engineering conference proceedings, Vancouver, Canada, PaperGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson JG, Hough SE (1984) A model for the shape of the Fourier amplitude spectrum of acceleration at high frequencies. Bull Seismol Soc Am 74:1969–1993Google Scholar
  4. Ansari A, Noorzad A, Zare M (2007) Application of wavelet multi-resolution analysis for correction of seismic acceleration records. J Geophys Eng 4:362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ansari A, Noorzad A, Zafarani H, Vahidifard H (2010) Correction of highly noisy strong motion records using a modified wavelet de-noising method. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 30:1168–1181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Assatourians K, Atkinson GM (2007) Modeling variable-stress distribution with the stochastic finite-fault technique. Bull Seismol Soc Am 97:1935–1949CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Assatourians K, Atkinson GM (2010) Coseismic stress parameter of three California Earthquakes derived from the stochastic finite fault technique. J Seismolog 14:431–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berberian M (1976) An explanatory note on the first seismotectonic map of Iran; a seismotectonic review of the country. Geol Surv Iran 39:7–142Google Scholar
  9. Berberian M (1979a) Earthquake faulting and bedding thrust associated with the Tabas-e-Golshan (Iran) earthquake of September 16, 1978. Bull Seismol Soc Am 69:1861–1887Google Scholar
  10. Berberian M (1979b) Tabas-e-Golshan (Iran) catastrophic earthquake of 16 September 1978: a preliminary field report. Disasters 2:207–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berberian M (1982) Aftershock tectonics of the 1978 Tabas-e-Golshan (Iran) earthquake sequence: a documented active ‘thin-and thick-skinned tectonic’case. Geophys J Int 68:499–530CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Berberian M, Asudeh I, Bilham R, Scholz C, Soufleris C (1979) Mechanism of the main shock and the aftershock study of the Tabas-e-Golshan (Iran) earthquake of September 16, 1978: a preliminary report. Bull Seismol Soc Am 69:1851–1859Google Scholar
  13. Beresnev IA, Atkinson GM (1997) Modeling finite-fault radiation from the ωn spectrum. Bull Seismol Soc Am 87:67–84Google Scholar
  14. Beresnev IA, Atkinson GM (1998a) FINSIM–a FORTRAN program for simulating stochastic acceleration time histories from finite faults. Seismol Res Lett 69:27–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Beresnev IA, Atkinson GM (1998b) Stochastic finite-fault modeling of ground motions from the 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake. I. Validation on rock sites. Bull Seismol Soc Am 88:1392–1401Google Scholar
  16. Bielak J et al (2010) The ShakeOut earthquake scenario: verification of three simulation sets. Geophys J Int 180:375–404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Boore DM (1983) Stochastic simulation of high-frequency ground motions based on seismological models of the radiated spectra. Bull Seismol Soc Am 73:1865–1894Google Scholar
  18. Boore DM (2003) Simulation of ground motion using the stochastic method. Pure appl Geophys 160:635–676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Boore DM (2009) Comparing stochastic point-source and finite-source ground-motion simulations: SMSIM and EXSIM. Bull Seismol Soc Am 99:3202–3216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Bouchon M (1981) A simple method to calculate Green’s functions for elastic layered media. Bull Seismol Soc Am 71:959–971Google Scholar
  21. Bouchon M (2003) A review of the discrete wavenumber method Pure and applied. Geophysics 160:445–465Google Scholar
  22. Brocher TM (2005) Empirical relations between elastic wavespeeds and density in the Earth’s crust. Bull Seismol Soc Am 95:2081–2092CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Chopra S, Kumar D, Choudhury P, Yadav R (2012a) Stochastic finite fault modelling of M w 4.8 earthquake in Kachchh, Gujarat, India. J Seismolog 16:435–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Chopra S, Kumar V, Suthar A, Kumar P (2012b) Modeling of strong ground motions for 1991 Uttarkashi, 1999 Chamoli earthquakes, and a hypothetical great earthquake in Garhwal-Kumaun Himalaya. Nat Hazards 64:1141–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Cotton F, Coutant O (1997) Dynamic stress variations due to shear faults in a plane-layered medium. Geophys J Int 128:676–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Engdahl ER, van der Hilst R, Buland R (1998) Global teleseismic earthquake relocation with improved travel times and procedures for depth determination. Bull Seismol Soc Am 88:722–743Google Scholar
  27. Furumura T, Koketsu K (1998) Specific distribution of ground motion during the 1995 Kobe earthquake and its generation mechanism. Geophys Res Lett 25:785–788CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hanks TC, Kanamori H (1979) A moment magnitude scale. J Geophys Res B 84:2348–2350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hanks TC, McGuire RK (1981) The character of high-frequency strong ground motion. Bull Seismol Soc Am 71:2071–2095Google Scholar
  30. Hartzell SH (1978) Earthquake aftershocks as Green’s functions. Geophys Res Lett 5:1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hartzell S, Mendoza C (1991) Application of an iterative least-squares waveform inversion of strong-motion and teleseismic records to the 1978 Tabas, Iran, earthquake. Bull Seismol Soc Am 81:305–331Google Scholar
  32. Hartzell S, Harmsen S, Frankel A, Larsen S (1999) Calculation of broadband time histories of ground motion: comparison of methods and validation using strong-ground motion from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Bull Seismol Soc Am 89:1484–1504Google Scholar
  33. Hassani B, Zafarani H, Farjoodi J, Ansari A (2011) Estimation of site amplification, attenuation and source spectra of S-waves in the East-Central Iran. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 31:1397–1413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hough SE, Martin S, Bilham R, Atkinson GM (2002) The 26 January 2001 M 7.6 Bhuj, India, earthquake: observed and predicted ground motions. Bull Seismol Soc Am 92:2061–2079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kanamori H, Stewart GS (1978) Seismological aspects of the Guatemala earthquake of February 4, 1976. J Geophys Res Solid Earth (1978–2012) 83:3427–3434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Khodaverdian A, Zafarani H, Rahimian M  (2015) Long term fault slip rates, distributed deformation rates and forecast of seismicity in the Iranian Plateau. Tectonics 34:2190–2220Google Scholar
  37. Mai PM, Beroza G (2003) A hybrid method for calculating near-source, broadband seismograms: application to strong motion prediction. Phys Earth Planet Int 137:183–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mohajer-Ashjai A, Nowroozi A (1979) The Tabas earthquake of September 16 1978 in east-central IranA preliminary field report. Geophys Res Lett 6:689–692CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Motazedian D (2006) Region-specific key seismic parameters for earthquakes in Northern Iran. Bull Seismol Soc Am 96:1383–1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Motazedian D, Atkinson GM (2005) Stochastic finite-fault modeling based on a dynamic corner frequency. Bull Seismol Soc Am 95:995–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Niazi M, Bozorgnia Y (1992) The 1990 Manjil, Iran, earthquake: geology and seismology overview, PGA attenuation, and observed damage. Bull Seismol Soc Am 82:774–799Google Scholar
  42. Niazi M, Kanamori H (1981) Source parameters of 1978 Tabas and 1979 Qainat, Iran, earthquakes from long-period surface waves. Bull Seismol Soc Am 71:1201–1213Google Scholar
  43. Olsen K, Akinci A, Rovelli A, Marra F, Malagnini L (2006) 3D ground-motion estimation in Rome, Italy. Bull Seismol Soc Am 96:133–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Saikia CK (1994) Modeling of strong ground motions from the 16 September 1978 Tabas, Iran, earthquake. Bull Seismol Soc Am 84:31–46Google Scholar
  45. Sarkar I, SriRam V, Hamzehloo H, Khattri K (2005) Subevent analysis for the Tabas earthquake of September 16, 1978, using near field accelerograms. Phys Earth Planet Inter 151:53–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shoja-Taheri J, Anderson JG (1988) The 1978 Tabas, Iran, earthquake: an interpretation of the strong motion records. Bull Seismol Soc Am 78:142–171Google Scholar
  47. Silva W, Darragh R, Stark C, Wong I, Stepp J, Schneider J, Chiou S (1990) A methodology to estimate design response spectra in the near-source region of large earthquakes using the band-limited-white-noise ground motion model. In: Proceedings of Fourth US Conference on Earthquake Engineering, pp 487–494Google Scholar
  48. Silva W, Abrahamson N, Toro G, Costantino C (1997) Description and validation of the stochastic ground motion model. Final Report Brookhaven National LaboratoryGoogle Scholar
  49. Soghrat M, Khaji N, Zafarani H (2012) Simulation of strong ground motion in northern Iran using the specific barrier model. Geophys J Int 188:645–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Somerville PG, Smith NF, Graves RW, Abrahamson NA (1997) Modification of empirical strong ground motion attenuation relations to include the amplitude and duration effects of rupture directivity. Seismol Res Lett 68:199–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Somerville P et al (1999) Characterizing crustal earthquake slip models for the prediction of strong ground motion. Seismol Res Lett 70:59–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wald DJ, Quitoriano V, Heaton TH, Kanamori H (1999) Relationships between peak ground acceleration, peak ground velocity, and modified Mercalli intensity in California. Earthq Spectra 15:557–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Walker R, Jackson J, Baker C (2003) Surface expression of thrust faulting in eastern Iran: source parameters and surface deformation of the 1978 Tabas and 1968 Ferdows earthquake sequences. Geophys J Int 152:749–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wang G-Q, Zhou X-Y (2006) 3D finite-difference simulations of strong ground motions in the Yanhuai area, Beijing, China during the 1720 Shacheng earthquake (M s 7.0) using a stochastic finite-fault model. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 26:960–982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wells DL, Coppersmith KJ (1994) New empirical relationships among magnitude, rupture length, rupture width, rupture area, and surface displacement. Bull Seismol Soc Am 84:974–1002Google Scholar
  56. Yaghmaei-Sabegh S, Tsang H (2011) An updated study on near-fault ground motions of the 1978 Tabas, Iran, earthquake (Mw = 7.4). Sci Iran 18:895–905CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Yalcinkaya E, Pinar A, Uskuloglu O, Tekebas S, Firat B (2012) Selecting the most suitable rupture model for the stochastic simulation of the 1999 Izmit earthquake and prediction of peak ground motions. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 42:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zafarani H, Soghrat M (2012) Simulation of ground motion in the Zagros region of Iran using the specific barrier model and the stochastic method. Bull Seismol Soc Am 102:2031–2045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zafarani H, Mousavi M, Noorzad A, Ansari A (2008) Calibration of the specific barrier model to Iranian plateau earthquakes and development of physically based attenuation relationships for Iran. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 28:550–576CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60.  Zafarani H,  Noorzad A,  Ansari A, Bargi K (2009) Stochastic modeling of Iranian earthquakes and estimation of ground motion for future earthquakes in Greater Tehran. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 29:722–741Google Scholar
  61. Zafarani H, Vahidifard H, Ansari A (2012) Sensitivity of ground-motion scenarios to earthquake source parameters in the Tehran metropolitan area, Iran. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 43:342–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zafarani H, Vahidifard H, Ansari A (2013) Prediction of broadband ground-motion time histories: the case of Tehran, Iran. Earthq Spectra 29:633–660CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zafarani H, Rahimi M, Noorzad A, Hassani B, Khazaei B (2015) Stochastic simulation of strong-motion records from the 2012 Ahar–Varzaghan dual earthquakes, Northwest of Iran. Bull Seismol Soc Am 105:1419–1434Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Vahidifard
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Zafarani
    • 2
  • S. R. Sabbagh-Yazdi
    • 1
  1. 1.K. N. Toosi University of TechnologyTehranIran
  2. 2.International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES)TehranIran

Personalised recommendations