Influence of Uncertain Source Parameters on Strong Ground Motion Simulation with the Empirical Green's Function Method

Jonathan Liang, Hong Hao

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    A combined stochastic and Green's function approach was developed to simulate strong ground motions in Southwest Western Australia (SWWA) in a previous study. Although it was demonstrated that adopting the source parameters derived from other regions yielded reasonable simulation of ground motions in SWWA as compared with a few available strong motion records, the effect of source parameter variations on simulated ground motions was not known. This article performs a statistical study of the effects of random fluctuations of the seismic source parameters on simulated strong ground motions. The uncertain source parameters, i.e., stress drop ratio, rupture velocity, and rise time corresponding to the empirical source models are assumed to be the respective mean value of the parameter and normally distributed with an assumed coefficient of variation. The Rosenblueth's point estimate method [Rosenblueth, 198130. Rosenblueth , E. 1981 . Two-point estimates in probabilities . Applied Mathematical Modelling , 5 : 329 – 335 .[CrossRef], [Web of Science ®], [CSA]View all references] is used to calculate the statistics of the simulate ground motion parameters corresponding to different magnitudes and epicentral distances. The accuracy of the Rosenblueth's point estimate method in estimating the mean and standard deviation of ground motion PGA, PGV, and response spectrum is proven by simulating the ground motions from an ML6.0 and epicentral distance 100 km event with both the Rosenblueth's point estimate method and the Monte Carlo simulation method. A sensitivity analysis is preformed to investigate the effect of random fluctuations of each source parameters on strong ground motion simulation. A coefficient of variation model for ground motion parameters is developed based on the simulated data as a function of the variations of the three source parameters and earthquake magnitude, which can be used in probabilistic predictions of earthquake ground motions with uncertain source parameters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)791-813
    JournalJournal of Earthquake Engineering
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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