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PEER Signs Major Contract with California Earthquake Authority (CEA) Following-up on NGA West Project

The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) has signed a major research contract with the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) to carry out a multi-disciplinary, multi-year research program to improve Next Generation Attenuation models for active tectonic regions such as California. This NGA-West 2 project follows-up on and extends work completed in a previous program, NGA-West which was successfully coordinated by PEER and resulted in major advances in seismic hazard estimation for the western US.

The new NGA-West 2 project addresses several important issues in earthquake engineering, including modeling of directivity and directionality; verification of NGA-West models for recent small, moderate and large magnitude events; scaling of ground motion prediction equations (GMPE) for different levels of damping; development of GMPEs for vertical ground motion; treatment of epistemic uncertainty; and evaluation of soil amplification factors in NGA models versus NEHRP site factors. The NGA-West 2 program started on March 1, 2010 and will conclude in 30 months. The results of this program are expected to be of great interest to the earthquake engineering community, as it is expected that the improved models will be reviewed by USGS for consideration in future updates of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps and incorporation in the building code. Throughout the project there will be various public workshops to solicit feedback and advice from various stakeholders and future users of the attenuation models. All earthquake engineering professionals and academics are encouraged to follow the progress of the NGA-West 2 program and participate in these workshops. At the conclusion of the program, PEER will run an active dissemination campaign to ensure that the earthquake engineering community is aware of the resulting research findings.

For more information on the project, visit the PEER website, or contact PEER Outreach Director Heidi Faison, hfaison@berkeley.edu.

posted March 16, 2010