Ground Motion Intensity Versus Ground Motion Kinematics. Exploring Various Intensity Measures

  • Horea Sandi
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Natural Hazards book series (SPRINGERNAT)


The interest for this topic was raised by the occurrence of the destructive Vrancea earthquake of 1977.03.04, when the first strong motion record of Romania was obtained at the Building Research Institute (INCERC) Bucharest. The attempt to assess the ground motion intensity on the basis of instrumental criteria specified by the Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik (MSK) intensity scale failed, due to strongly divergent results obtained by means of using the peak ground acceleration (PGA) and peak ground velocity (PGV) criteria. This failure was due to the fact that the inflexible MSK criteria referred to relied on the implicit non-realistic assumption that all ground motions are characterized by an invariable velocity/acceleration corner period of 0.5 s. A flexible Spectral Intensity Assessment System (SIAS) relying on ground motion accelerographic information was developed. This makes it possible to estimate, according to needs, global intensity, frequency related intensity, intensity averaged upon a spectral band etc. Alternative basic kinematic ground motion characteristics for global intensities and for frequency related intensities were introduced. Correlation analysis performed revealed quite strong correlations between results of using alternative criteria. Characteristic parameters were calibrated and alternative calibrations are discussed. Some illustrative cases are presented. Comments and recommendations are finally presented.


Intensity Instrumental intensity Frequency related intensity Intensity spectrum 



The author is deeply indebted to his former colleagues of INCERC, Ioan Sorin Borcia and Ion Floricel, for their competent cooperation in performing a vast amount of computer work, as required by the data processing for a considerable number of cases.


  1. Aptikaev F (2005) Instrumental seismic intensity scale. In: Proceedings of symposium on the 40-th anniversary of IZIIS, SkopjeGoogle Scholar
  2. Aptikaev F (2006) Project of Russian seismic intensity scale RIS-04. In: Proceedings of first European conference on earthquake engineering and seismology, Geneva, Switzerland, paper No. 1291Google Scholar
  3. Arias A (1970) A measure of earthquake intensity. In: Hansen RJ (ed) Seismic design for nuclear power plants. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  4. Grünthal G (1998) European macroseismic scale 1998, vol 15. Cahiers du Centre Européen de Géodynamique et Séismologie, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  5. IRS Scara de intensități seismice. STAS 3684-71Google Scholar
  6. Medvedev SV (1962) Inzhenernaya seismologia. GIFML, Moscow, RussiaGoogle Scholar
  7. Medvedev SV (1977) Seismic intensity scale MSK-76. Publ Inst Géophys Pol Ac Sc, A - 6. WarsawGoogle Scholar
  8. Sandi H (1986) An engineer’s approach to the scaling of ground motion intensities. In: Proceedings of 8-th European conference on earthquake engineering, Lisbon, PortugalGoogle Scholar
  9. Sandi H, Borcia IS (2011) Intensity spectra versus response spectra. Basic concepts and applications. PAGEOPH topical volume on advanced seismic hazard assessments (online edition 2010), printed in Pure Appl Geophys 168(1):261Google Scholar
  10. Sandi H, Floricel I (1998) Some alternative instrumental intensity measures of ground motion severity. In: Proceedings of 11th European conference on earthquake engineering, Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  11. ШИЗ (2013) ШКAЛA ИHTEHCИBHOCTИ ЗEMЛETPЯCEHИЙ (Scale of earthquake intensity). Federal Agency of Technical Regulation and Metrology, Moscow, RussiaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Romanian Academy of Technical SciencesBucharestRomania

Personalised recommendations